In the fortified orange juice wars, major suppliers are furnishing major finished-goods manufacturers with everything from vitamins to boutique fine chemicals, all in an effort to gain consumer acceptance of condition-specific health benefits.
Tropicana, which already has a line in its orange juice suite with added vitamins C and E, is ready to launch a new line of OJ fortified with fibre, Fibersol-2, supplied from ADM through a licensing and manufacturing arrangement with Matsutani in Japan.
"Matsutani has had several years of successfully incorporating Fibersol-2 into various food items in Japan, including bottled water, beer, diary items and other food items," said Doug Millar, ADM's vice president of product and market development for the corn processing, natural health and nutrition, and speciality food ingredients divisions. "ADM has developed strong ties with product developers in major food companies, which allow us to incorporate our nutritional ingredients into their product brands with the objective of satisfying a required consumer benefit."
It doesn't hurt the cause that US government recommendations call for significantly higher fibre intake — the US Department of Agriculture says nine out of 10 American adults do not consume enough fibre. Coupled with that is new technology that allows fibre to be available as a water-soluble ingredient. "Putting fibre into beverages is beyond just the next big thing. It is the big thing," said Steven Young, PhD, North American technical adviser for Matsutani America and principal at Steven Young Worldwide consultancy. "Beverages are the perfect vehicle to deliver adequate dietary fibre, and you can deliver a lot of it per serving, if you use the right fibre. For example, you can put 25g of Fibersol-2 into eight fluid ounces of water and you wouldn't even know it's there — although at that amount you might note a slight increase in viscosity and slight yellow tint."
The Tropicana juice contains three grams of added fibre per 8oz serving.
Young described Fibersol-2 as being made from corn starch, which in itself has no fibre, but in the process of making the maltodextrin and changing the conditions under which it is made, the net ingredient is rendered 90 per cent indigestible, totally water-soluble, and dietary fibre by analysis.
Because of rigorous heating and acid treatments during manufacturing, Fibersol-2 is inherently stable to acid and heat, making it compatible with all thermal processes. Thus, it a natural for the pasteurisation as well as the acidity of the juice.