Immunity Begins Here
The Enzyme Equation
Although few consumers can correctly explain prebiotics, they know the digestive benefits of fibers. Not all fibers are prebiotics; prebiotics, by definition, are a non-digestible food ingredient—commonly called dietary fiber—that benefits the host by selectively stimulating the growth and /or activity or one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon and thus improves host health. Food formulators should note that food ingredients may be classified as prebiotic on the basis of three criteria: They resist digestion in the upper GI tract; are fermented by the intestinal microflora; and selectively stimulate the growth and/or activity of intestinal bacteria associated with health and well-being.
Dites “Oui” à Pruneaux!
The California Prune Board invested in five years of scientific research before last summer’s European Food Safety Authority’s approval of a health claim for prunes/dried plums and healthy digestive function. The claim is based on the daily consumption of 100g of dried plums (prunes). While prunes have always had the reputation for improving digestion, the key to claim-making was the support of increased scientific backing. Human intervention studies suggest prune components, specifically the fiber content, can increase fecal weight, induce a laxative effect and improve stool consistency. The claim opens up opportunities for the addition of prune-based ingredients (at least 100g) as a substitute for fat in sweet baked goods.