“Slow but steady wins the race,” a familiar and well- known mantra from one of Aesop's fables, “The Tortoise and the Hare,” can be extrapolated into the study of blood glucose absorption. Just as the hare jumped far ahead of the tortoise in this tale, sucrose also prompts an immediate rise in blood glucose that swiftly decreases in a brief time frame, thereby restricting the amount of long-term available energy. These peaks and plummets of blood sugar and blood insulin (required to move glucose into cells) contribute to hunger, overeating and insulin resistance.
However, despite the hare's quick start, the tortoise won the race. Like the tortoise, Palatinit of America's (Morris Plains, N.J.) new functional carbohydrate, Palatinose™ (isomaltulose) enters the bloodstream less rapidly than sucrose, causing an attenuated blood glucose and insulin response. Therefore, Palatinose provides an optimal, constant and long-lasting supply of energy in the form of glucose. It is applicable to sports drinks that aim to extend their energy supply from “fast and instantaneously available” to a “better energy” that releases carbohydrates slowly to the muscles and brain.
Palatinose is made from sugar (sucrose) by non-GMO enzymatic rearrangement. It is digested fully and provides the same caloric value as sucrose. But unlike sucrose, it has a glycemic classification of 32 and an insulin index of 30, meaning it is very low-glycemic and low-insulinemic. The carbohydrate promotes fat oxidation and avoids the hypoglycemic undershoot common with regular sugars, which may lead to earlier meal initiation. Foods formulated with Palatinose are particularly favorable to diabetics. Animal and human studies reveal that isomaltulose is fully metabolized in the small intestine.
Since isomaltulose is not fermentable and prevents a drop in oral pH, it does not promote tooth decay, another property that distinguishes it from sucrose. As a natural constituent of honey and sugar cane molasses, Palatinose has a natural, sugar-like taste with mild sweetness. When used as a powder, it does not lump and has good flowability. In liquid applications, it maintains a high stability under acidic conditions.
In addition to energy and sports drinks, the Palatinose carbohydrate can be used to develop healthy breakfast, meal replacement and dairy-based drinks in either ready-to-drink or instant forms, as well as enhanced instant teas and coffees. In addition, regular cereals and nutrition bars, as well as chocolates and chocolate coatings, may benefit from the ingredient. “Palatinit [aims] to satisfy food and beverage companies looking for solutions for health-conscious consumers who insist on a sugar-like taste, as well as wellness,” say company officials.
Considering it has a low-glycemic and -insulinemic response, and provides an extended source of energy, Palatinose is already ahead in the race.