January 30/Belgium -- Puratos and Fugeia have established an alliance to develop novel breads with digestive health benefits.

The Puratos Group and Fugeia disclosed their partnership aimed at developing bread and pastry products with enhanced digestive health benefits. The technology developed under the collaboration makes the natural fibers of cereals, such as wheat or rye, more accessible to digestion by beneficial bacteria in the large intestine. As a consequence, the activated fibers act as prebiotic substrates for the intestinal flora.

Making the technology unique, during the baking process it activates the fibers that are already naturally present in cereal flours, without requiring the addition of external sources of fiber.

As part of the agreement between the Puratos Group and Fugeia, bread with activated cereal fiber is currently being tested in clinical trials on human volunteers by the University of Leuven and Fugeia.

Filip Arnaut, R&D Director in Puratos, said, “We are highly motivated about the partnership with Fugeia. The technology has excellent potential to be applied successfully in Puratos’ products offered to both artisan and industrial bakers and patissiers. The collaboration fits well with our continuous efforts to develop innovative products, in particular products with a health bonus.”

Willem Broekaert, co-founder and managing director of Fugeia, commented, “We are extremely pleased with the alliance with Puratos. Puratos’ deep knowledge of the baking industry has been instrumental for guiding our product development efforts toward a market-compatible concept in a very short time frame.”

Jan Delcour, Fugeia’s co-founder and professor at the University of Leuven, added, “It is very rewarding to see that this technology, which was originally developed by our research team at the University of Leuven and transferred to Fugeia, is now well on its way to reach the market. This illustrates once more the value of integrating the full knowledge chain from basic over applied research to, finally, industrial applications that are beneficial to the consumer."

From the February 2, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition