Attendees ofPrepared Foods’ R&D Seminar series learned there are a variety of ingredients for consumer products targeting weight management. A few examples are: a weight control agent made from white bean extract, specific ingredients for long-lasting energy drinks, oat bran concentrate to help with satiety, green tea extract to help decrease body fat, soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as pea protein and refined fibers for texture.

Weight and Glycemic Management

Statistics regarding Americans show that one in three children and two in three adults are overweight or obese. The number of Americans with diabetes has doubled in the past 20 years, with one third of children born in 2000 expected to become diabetic.

Sugar consumption has risen dramatically in the U.S., recently reaching 147lbs per year per capita, leading to consumer interest in products that help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Furthermore, weight control/maintenance is now the number one health factor affecting food-buying behaviors, according to a presentation given by Cristina Munteanu, food applications specialist, GTC Nutrition.

Oat bran concentrate is an ingredient that promotes healthy blood sugar levels, enhances satiety, lowers cholesterol and stabilizes glucose and insulin responses. When oat bran concentrate is ingested, viscosity builds in the stomach and gastric emptying is delayed, inducing a feeling of satiety. (See chart “Oat Bran Concentrate and Healthy Weight Loss.”)

Studies have shown that dieting with oat bran promotes weight loss more so than just dieting alone. In one study, lower hunger scores were reported in the oat bran group, with better diet adherence.

Oat bran concentrate contains high levels of beta-glucan soluble fiber, allowing for effective doses at low inclusion levels. It is heat-stable, suitable for baking, retort, HTST and UHT processes. In addition, this particular oat bran concentrate has improved solubility compared to other sources of beta-glucan containing insoluble fiber, as well as a neutral flavor profile.

In cereals, oat bran concentrate can be incorporated at 1.4g (0.75g beta-glucan) per serving. At this level, the oat bran concentrate has little impact on the shape, size, flavor, appearance, expansion, mixing or forming properties of the cereal. Claim opportunities include “helps maintain a healthy weight,” “promotes satiety” and “helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels.”

Oat bran concentrate provides a variety of formulation opportunities and is easy to use in many applications. It contributes to stability and mouthfeel, decreases the need for stabilizers and provides fat mimetic characteristics. In addition, oat bran concentrate improves moisture retention and may extend the shelflife of certain applications.
“Innovative Solutions for Weight and Glycemic Management Products,” Cristina Munteanu, food applications specialist, GTC Nutrition,,
--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Baked Goods with Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

Consumer research indicates a steady increase in the number of consumers boosting their fiber intake, while decreasing sugar and fat consumption, noted one presenter. There also is a decline in bakery consumption, due to perceived high-calorie density.

The use of soluble fiber (resistant dextrin) and insoluble fiber (resistant starch) can assist in the development of better-for-you bakery products, such as cookies and muffins. It is possible with the use of these ingredients to reduce sugar, fat and calories and increase fiber content to at least 2.5g per serving, explained Lorraine Niba, business development manager, National Starch Food Innovation. Resistant dextrins and resistant starches also have physiological benefits, such as prebiotic activity and a reduced glycemic response.

A proprietary, resistant starch (insoluble fiber) is a natural food ingredient from corn that is easy to use, contributes a good source of insoluble fiber, meets a range of formulation needs and has numerous studies to support its health benefits. The white starch has a bland taste that is ideal for baked goods such as cakes, pastries, breads and dough. It contributes to a uniform cell structure and white color in the finished baked product, without significantly increasing bake or mix times. It has a low water-holding capacity.

Dough handling is a critical factor in the quality and processing of baked goods. While most insoluble fibers have a high water-holding capacity and slow rate of hydration, this proprietary, resistant starch insoluble fiber demonstrates improved processing, better machinability, ease in handling and a more predictable quality and performance.

Resistant dextrin soluble fiber is a proprietary, grain-based fiber, with a fiber content of 85%. It has 2Kcal/g, is sugar-free, mixes easily and is heat-, acid- and shear-tolerant. This ingredient has a number of health benefits, including prebiotic effects, reduced glycemic and insulinemic responses. It combines nutrition and functionality.

Resistant dextrin soluble fiber easily disperses and is transparent in solution. It can be used for bulking and calorie reduction, sugar reduction and for fat replacement in bakery products (providing mouthfeel and body). It contributes a very low viscosity and hygroscopicity with high stability. Over 75% of the ingredient is fermented in the large intestine, and it has excellent digestive tolerance.

The use of resistant dextrin soluble fiber and natural resistant starch insoluble fiber, by themselves or in combination, helps to facilitate the development of consumer-friendly, healthy, sweet baked goods.
 “Formulation of Reduced-fat, High-fiber, Sweet Baked Goods with Soluble and Insoluble Fiber,” Lorraine Niba, business development manager, National Starch,,
--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

EGCG: Time-tested and Healthy

Increasing activity and reducing portion sizes are key to weight-loss efforts. Green tea extract (GTE) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the most abundant of four major catechins (antioxidants) found in green tea, have potential as ingredients that can aid in weight management.

Consumer demand has led to significant growth in products containing GTE and EGCG. Based onin vitroand animal model research, EGCG appears to decrease body fat and weight by a number of potential mechanisms, stated Diane Hnat, senior marketing manager, DSM Nutritional Products Inc. In studies, EGCG prevented diet-induced obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet supplemented with 1% EGCG for 28 days. Consumption of the pure high-fat diet resulted in significantly increased body weight and fat pad weight (subcutaneous adipose tissue or fat under the skin, epididymal adipose or fat inside the belly). However, there was no increase in body weight and fat pad weight when EGCG was added to the high-fat diet. These mice were very similar to mice eating the low-fat control diet. Human studies also showed a relationship between GTE, body fat and weight loss.

Healthy male volunteers given 48mg catechins (300mg EGCG, 75mg caffeine) for 12 weeks had significant reductions in weight, body fat and visceral fat relative to the baseline. Male and female volunteers with a BMI of 26, fed a normal diet over 12 weeks when given 588mg catechins (115mg EGCG, 83mg caffeine), had significant reductions in body weight and body fat when compared with those receiving 126mg catechins (25mg EGCG, 81mg caffeine). Overweight Japanese men given oolong tea with 690mg catechins per day over 12 weeks had significantly reduced body weight, BMI, waist circumference and body fat when compared to a control group receiving oolong tea with 22mg catechins per day.

Many additional studies have supported these findings and research is ongoing. Food and beverage manufacturers have expressed interest in adding EGCG to foods and beverages in order to have the claim “increases metabolism” or “aids in weight management.” Structure/function claims are based on adequate scientific support and do not state a dose. Self-affirmed GRAS levels range from 25-90mg per serving of selected foods and beverages. Companies who add GRAS levels of EGCG could consider making the following type of structure/function claim: “EGCG helps increase metabolism and aids in weight management as part of a healthy lifestyle consisting of regular exercise, a balanced diet and caloric restriction.”
 “Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health,” Diane Hnat, senior marketing manager, DSM Nutritional Products Inc.,,
--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Reducing Starch Absorption

A non-stimulant weight control agent, proprietary, fractionated white bean extract (FWBE), is an all-natural, standardized, aqueous extract of the beanPhaseolus vulgaris. FWBE is manufactured in the U.S. It is an off-white powder with no negative taste impact, is heat-stable and non-GMO and is GRAS. The use rate is approximately 1-3g per serving.

FWBE has been clinically shown in multiple human studies to delay the digestion and absorption of dietary starch by temporarily and safely neutralizing the digestive enzyme alpha-amylase, according to a presentation given by Greg Drew, Kanak Udani and chef Gerard Viverito for Pharmachem Laboratories Inc. A 2001 Italian double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study with 60 subjects at 500mg for 30 days showed an average weight loss of 6.45lbs vs. less than 1lb in the placebo group. The study also showed significant waist and hip circumference reductions, with no adverse events. A 2006 open-label, randomized, six-arm crossover study of FWBE or placebo formulated into butter and spread on white bread showed a statistically significant, dose-dependent reduction in glycemic index of over 30%--up to 3,000mg of FWBE.

FWBE qualifies for the following structure function claims: “May Reduce Enzymatic Digestion of Dietary Starch” or “May Assist in Weight Control When Used in Conjunction with a Sensible Diet and Exercise Program.”

Bread, pizza and blueberry muffins made with FWBE scored at statistical parity to a control in consumer tests. FWBE can be added directly into starchy foods (and foods and beverages consumed with starchy foods). It also can be included in powders, oils and condiments so that consumers may directly add those to prepared meals. There is no negative taste or odor, no need for masking, and FWBE enhances salty and savory flavors.

The light, free-flowing powder easily blends and disperses with no lumps and undetectable texture differentiation. There are no modifications needed for recipes due to ingredient interactions, which is important especially in baking breads, muffins or cakes. FWBE can easily be incorporated into breakfast, lunch or dinner.

For breakfast, it can be added to oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, French toast, juice, coffee, tea and other breakfast items. Lunch items that work with FWBE include sandwich breads, buns, pitas, wraps, tortillas, burgers, potato or pasta salads, soups or crackers. It also can be used in functional toppings or sprinkles for on-the-go convenience for French fries, pizza, or pastas, meal replacement drinks and snacks, and health and nutrition bars. (See chart “Rating Cheese.”) Dinner foods such as breads, potatoes, rice, macaroni, pizza, frozen foods and gravies can incorporate FWBE easily.
“New Research and Recipes for Reducing Starch Absorption,” Greg Drew, Kanak Udani and chef Gerard Viverito, Pharmachem Laboratories Inc.,,
--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Application of Insoluble, Refined Fibers in Weight Management Products

Refined fiber is a loose term describing fibers that have been extracted, purified or bleached. Refined fibers can be produced from almost any plant material, but some sources work better than others. Insoluble fibers are typically cellulose or hemicellulose.

Commercially available insoluble, refined fibers include oat, wheat, sugarcane, sugar beet and cottonseed fibers, microcrystalline cellulose, powdered cellulose, colloidal gels, soy fiber, pea fiber and bamboo fiber. Their common characteristics are that they absorb water and, to some extent, oil through capillary action. Some have a total dietary fiber content greater than 90%.

These fibers are heat-stable, extrusion-/shear-stable, freeze/thaw-stable, pH-stable and hydrate quickly. In applications of refined fibers for weight management, they function as a fat mimetic, calorie substitute and to reduce energy density and increase satiety, according to a presentation given for J. Rettenmaier USA.

Insoluble, refined fibers have low caloric and glycemic loads. They are resistant to digestion and fermentation, with reduced gas production (when compared with soluble fibers). Insoluble fibers absorb and hold water, which aids in the displacement of calorie-contributing ingredients and reduces cost. But developers should use caution when applying higher absorption fibers, due to possible texture issues. Insoluble fiber actually replaces texture and bite that may be lost with starches and soluble fibers.

In baked goods, longer stranded, insoluble fibers tend to yield more open grain structure. The open structure is due to the high water absorption that dilutes the gluten. Longer stranded fibers require additional structure-forming ingredients like gluten. For most baked good applications with a high fiber content, a small particle size is preferred. (See chart “Reduced-calorie White Bread Formula with Wheat Fiber.) In meal replacement beverages, fibers with very small particle sizes (<70 microns) should be selected, in order to minimize texture changes.

With small particle sizes, such as those required in beverages, the visibility of the fiber is reduced and suspension is easier, also improving mouthfeel and reducing grit. Suspension is required for insoluble fibers, and this can be done by combining it with a hydrocolloid or other soluble fiber. This provides a balance of soluble/insoluble fiber for improved nutrition and also provides a lubrication effect, which minimizes “throat catch.” Certain fibers, like some oat fibers, may contain a higher ash or mineral content that can contribute to a gritty mouthfeel. To avoid this, select fibers without abrasive minerals. 

Insoluble fibers are typically not considered fat substitutes, but their functional properties can be applied to aid in low-fat formulas by water-binding, structure-forming and gelling. There are studies showing the impact of insoluble fiber on satiety, but it is clear that this is probably not the case in all applications. Many insoluble fibers exhibit a synergistic viscosity, when combined with soluble fibers. Most also provide bulk, with a relatively low bulk density.
 “Application of Insoluble, Refined Fibers in Weight Management Products.” For more  information, contact Jon Bodner, senior manager, applications and market development, J. Rettenmaier USA LP.
--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Editor

Enhanced Health with High-fiber Brans

The Code of Federal Regulations allows for several health claims involving grains and/or fiber. For instance, in 21CFR 101.76, a health claim for fiber containing grain products, the claim states that “low-fat diets rich in fiber-containing grain products, fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors.”

21CFR 101.77 for grain products that contain fiber, particularly soluble fiber, and risk of coronary heart disease, states, “diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in fruits, vegetables, and grain products that contain some types of dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, may reduce the risk of heart disease, a disease associated with many factors.” At least 0.6g of soluble fiber from an eligible source per serving must be present, in addition to the qualifications required for the cancer claim listed above, said Scott Dumler, president, Oat Ingredients Inc.

21 CFR 101.81 states that “soluble fiber from foods such as oat bran, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” Eligible sources include whole oat products, oat bran, rolled oats, whole oat flour, amylase hydrolyzed oat bran up to 10% soluble fiber beta glucan, whole-grain barley and certain dry-milled barley grains. To qualify, the food must provide at least 0.75g of soluble fiber (beta glucan) per serving from an eligible source of oat and/or barley ingredients.

Oat and barley whole-grain and bran ingredients, with up to approximately 22% soluble fiber and 45% total dietary fiber, are currently available and used in a broad array of food applications. Also available are wet-milled, chemical, enzyme extracts in barley and oat to 70% soluble fiber (beta glucan). Achieving an FDA health claim, while maintaining limited serving size, can be a challenge using whole-grain ingredients, due to the limited availability of soluble fiber and the impact on composition, taste, texture and formulation. This is where high-fiber brans (please note--oat and barley brans are NOT extracts) can come in handy. A smaller amount may be used to achieve a health claim. For example, one gram of “high-fiber bran” contains as much soluble fiber (beta glucan) as 8g of whole-grain oat or barley. Using it enhances total dietary fiber and reduces starch and net carbohydrates.

Enhanced function and health with high-fiber brans occur through heart health, cholesterol reduction, weight management and satiety, extended energy utilization and digestive health, as they also have prebiotic properties. High-fiber brans are currently being used to promote cardiovascular health and weight management in dry and hot cereals, breads and baked goods, snacks, bars and dry-mix drink applications, with opportunity to provide in excess of 0.75g soluble fiber per serving (21-CFR 101.81), for many heart-healthy food matrixes.
 “Enhanced Function and Health with High-fiber Brans,” Scott Dumler, president, Oat Ingredients Inc.,,
--Summary by Elizabeth Mannie, Contributing Edito