Functional Ingredients is in the forefront of an industry trend: organizing products — and information — around specific health conditions. In September, Fi will publish its third annual Condition Specific Directory to help formulators quickly find just what they're looking for. Here is a foretaste of some of the information we uncovered:
For food companies, the latest fad is to target satiety — extending the time between meals and, importantly, reducing the food intake of the next meal. Marketers have been communicating this simply: feeling fuller longer. However, recent science sessions at the IFT show in Chicago poured cold water on satiety claims for all but the fiber category.
"Can foods target specific mechanisms to enhance satiety? Food intake is regulated by complex mechanisms," said National Starch's Christine Peklman, PhD, at IFT this past July. "Potential targets include direct effects on the brain, metabolic through fat oxidation, the stomach with gelling fibers, and the ileum. The illeal brake is real in slowing gastric emptying, reducing intestinal motility and reducing intake. But this has been shown to be triggered only when you infuse nutrients directly into the gut. Can oral dosing work?"
Medium-chain triglycerides can reach the ileum, she said, but as these are fats you trade a favorable variable of lengthening time between meals with increased fat intake. Other novel oils show mixed results. Protein is another much-heralded ingredient on the satiety front. Richard Mattes, PhD, from Purdue University, noted that while the studies show the high-protein Atkins diet led to increased satiety, it did not lead to increased metabolism. "It induces a change in behavior that leads to less intake," said Mattes, which is why studies show weight-loss gains under Atkins leveled off after six months.
The food matrix may also hold the key to working on satiety. "By and large, when protein is added to a salad, it works on decreasing hunger and food intake," said Mattes. "But with proteins into liquids there's no change. So the medium in which it's delivered makes a big difference.
"Despite the optimism of the satiety properties of protein, and some literature documents, it's a very mixed story and we cannot predict the behavior response to protein and load," said Mattes.