It’s an exciting time to be a snack manufacturer. Americans are snacking more than ever and launches of whole-grain snacks have skyrocketed. The challenge for snack manufacturers is packing fiber into these snacks while making a great-tasting product that consumers will buy. The Fibersol® family of soluble corn fiber ingredients is breaking through the limits of “traditional” fiber fortification and offering a helping hand to snack manufacturers looking to bridge the fiber gap.
“Fibersol, a soluble fiber, is the right solution for snack formulators’ fiber challenges to manufacture crackers, cookies, chips and even candy. It is a great way to reduce sugar and calories in all types of snack formulations while giving consumers irresistible products with added fiber,” said Marcee Place, general manager of Fibersol at ADM/Matsutani LLC.
With 45 percent of American adults telling research firm Technomic that they replace at least one meal each day with a snack, the era of the "three squares" is a thing of the past for a growing number of busy consumers. Launches of whole-grain snacks have skyrocketed since 2000, according to Mintel data. That is great news because whole grains are worth celebrating. But not all whole grains are full of fiber. And when it comes to fiber and whole grains, some things are just better together.
“Consider this product-development dilemma: To earn the Whole Grain Council's stamp, a cracker product must contain 8 to 16 grams of whole grains in each serving,” said Kati Ledbetter, product development scientist at ADM. “But even with that much whole-grain content, that same serving, depending on the grain, may fall short of the respective 2.5 grams or 5 grams of dietary fiber required to bear a respective “good” or “excellent source” of fiber claim.”
So how can manufacturers bridge this fiber gap? Product developers could keep loading more whole grains into their formulations or turn to traditional fiber ingredients like bran and psyllium. But both whole grains and traditional fibers can impact processing and finished-product sensory qualities.
On the processing side, notoriously “thirsty” insoluble fibers can significantly disrupt the dynamics of snack-based hydration and viscosity. They can also alter dough strength and machinability. Old-school fibers can affect product texture, color and taste by turning a snack that consumers expect to be smooth, pale and mild into one that is gritty, dark and bitter. That is a profile that even an ardent fiber fanatic may not look forward to snacking on.
That’s why the Fibersol family of ingredients is so valuable in breaking through the limits of formulations using traditional fiber. What makes Fibersol different is that it’s soluble corn fiber and ranks among the most concentrated forms of fiber available. By delivering such a powerful fiber payload, Fibersol lets developers top off the fiber in their formulations with minimal process adjustments or sensory drawbacks.
“We recently developed a Cajun-seasoned whole-wheat cracker prototype to show manufacturers how easy it can be to top off the fiber in snack formulations when manufacturers use Fibersol soluble corn fibers,” said Hanna Moser, product development scientist at ADM. “Fibersol®-LQ and Fibersol®-2 are used in this wholesome, Cajun-spiced whole-wheat cracker giving the finished product 6 grams of fiber per 28 gram serving while reducing sugar content by 25 percent and total calories by nearly 15 percent.”
The Fibersol line of soluble dietary fibers offers manufacturers a portfolio of solutions that can fit their development needs. Also, Fibersol gives manufacturers options for solutions other than just fiber addition. Solutions may include reducing sugar and calorie content in their products, adding finished product attributes such as softness in various moist and intermediate moisture foods, adding crispiness to lower moisture foods and extending shelf life of finished products. Fibersol’s line of dietary fibers allows for fiber fortification with minimal formulation and process adjustments while maintaining the desired finished product characteristics. The Fibersol line of dietary fibers bridges the needs of manufacturers and consumers to help close the gap on dietary fiber intake.
For more information on Fibersol’s full line of premier soluble dietary fiber ingredients and find out more about how Fibersol can give a helping hand with your next snack formulation, please visit fibersol.com.