Clever fiber blends offer weight management hope, says Professor

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Fiber composite blends used in healthy food matrixes hold weight management promise, according to a professor from the University of Liverpool.

Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com at Vitafoods Europe 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland last week, Jason Halford discussed his latest research into fiber composites – set to be published very soon.

The research investigated blending a wholegrain resistant starch and a viscous fiber, and concluded that this blend can affect acute satiety responses in men and women.

Halford said his research was particularly apt in today’s world where obesity levels were rising.

“Consumers are looking towards the food industry to provide them products which are not only healthy, but some of which have added functionality and those products that can potentially be used along with control and lifestyle changes to help them produce beneficial changes in terms of weight management,” he said.

Research into fiber composite blends was an interesting and fairly novel area for that, he explained.

Instant and post-meal hit

“One of the problems with any ingredient which affects appetite, is that it has a short window of effect,” Halford said.

The ingredients can either impact appetite directly, within a meal, or two to three hours after. The concept of combining two fibers with these effects, holds great promise for more prolonged satiation, he said.

However, he warned that manufacturers must carefully chose fibers to ensure one doesn’t cancel the other out.

“Matrixes are terrible for nullifying the effects of functional ingredients. Something may work outside a matrix, and as soon as you put it inside a matrix the effect you were hoping for disappears.”

Healthy bakery, breakfast bars

Asked about the potential these findings had for the bakery sector, Halford said: “Baked goods provide an opportunity.”

Breakfast bakery products and snacks, providing they have healthy matrixes, could be a fantastic platform to incorporate fiber blends that target satiety and weight management, he said.


For more on this 'closing the fiber gap' special edition, see below:

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