chicory root

What is inulin and what food products can it be used in?

Clodagh Fullston, Sales Support Executive discusses what is inulin and how it can be used in food products.

Recently I visited Sensus’ Roosendaal Headquarters in the Netherlands to attend workshops on the different inulin products that they produce. It was insightful and interesting to get a deeper understanding of the products and the applications that they can be used for. For those who have never heard of inulin, it is a natural soluble dietary fibre that has scientifically-proven health benefits. It is present in a large range of fruits, grains and vegetables, such as wheat, onions and bananas.

Commercially inulin is sourced primarily from Jerusalem artichokes, agave and chicory roots, which is from where Sensus extracts their inulin from. Aside from being a way to enrich fibre content, it can also be used to replace sugar and fat, making it a very useful ingredient. Sensus’s introduction video below explains things simply:

Less sugar, fewer calories and more fibre

What makes inulin particularly useful is that it can be used across a full spectrum of food products to replace sugar and fat. Sensus’s range of products are particularly flexible as they are are colorless and neutral. Meaning that the texture, flavour as well as the appearance is not affected but has added health benefits. Enriching food products such as bakery, cereals, dairy, confectionery, beverages and savoury foods. White bread for example could be enriched with extra fibre or yoghurt could be lower in fat.

In plainer terms this means products with less sugar, fewer calories and more fibre while maintaining flavour. Inulin has a prebiotic effect, which means that it stimulates the production of beneficial bacteria in the colon. It also assists in calcium absorption, improving bone health. As a sweeter, inulin is up to 60% as sweet as sugar, but has only half the calories.

Big future in infant formula development?

Recently it has been suggested that chicory root inulin could play a big role in the near future with infant formula development. Two enzymes that it contains closely mimics breast milk when it comes to digestion. The market has serious potential as only 10% of infant formula in 2018 contained this type of inulin. More than likely this represents just the tip of what it can be used for when it comes baby and infant products.

To date, NCC Food Ingredients have assisted customers in the bakery and confectionery markets. Developing new products that are used by health-conscious consumers with the use of Sensus’ inulin. These products have health benefits without any sacrificing the taste of the finished product. The results went above and beyond what our customers expected. Leading to strong sales and repeat orders.

If you would like to know more about Sensus’ inulin products, then read the brochure. It contains a wealth of information, including the production process and further details on the health benefits. Alternatively, to get a sample or if you wish to know more, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.

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