Prebiotic Ingredient Raftilose Helps Create Low GI Products

A new study from Leatherhead Food International has shown that Raftilose®, the prebiotic ingredient from ORAFTI, can significantly lower the glycemic index of food products, when used in replacement for sugar.

Malvern, PA (October 18, 2005) - Low glycemic index diets are favored by celebrities and nutritionists alike because they are linked to weight control and health benefits. In contrast, research has associated long-term high GI (glycemic index) diets with heart disease and diabetes.

Until now, sweet treats have often been off the menu for weight-conscious consumers as they tend to have a higher GI. This is because sugars, such as glucose, are absorbed into the blood quickly stimulating a large glucose and insulin response.

Low GI ice-cream
In a new study, funded by food ingredients companies, scientists at Leatherhead Food International created a new range of lower GI ice-creams using sugar replacers and/or oligofructose (Raftilose® from ORAFTI). These were tested in volunteers against a traditional sugary ice-cream to discover if the glycemic response improved.

Twelve healthy volunteers (5 men and 7 women, average age 31 years) ate ice-creams containing 15% Raftilose® (oligofructose) or different types of sugar replacers. They also ate the traditional ice-cream containing 15% sucrose (table sugar), or a glucose load. Blood levels of glucose were measured over a 2 hour period, and used to work out the glycemic response.

Lower glycemic response
The Raftilose® ice-cream gave a glycemic response which was 70% lower than the glycemic response produced after eating the traditional ice-cream. This lower glucose release is thought, by scientists, to be better for the metabolism. Commenting on the research, Dr. Anne Franck, Executive Vice-President Science and Technology from ORAFTI said: “Adding oligofructose instead of sucrose significantly reduced the glycemic response to eating the ice-cream”.

Adaptable prebiotics
The prebiotic ingredients Raftiline® and Raftilose® can improve the nutritional profiles of a wide range of food and beverage products. Backed by a considerable body of scientific research, these prebiotics are best known for improving gut health and well-being. The GI-lowering capability of Raftilose® adds to a list of impressive technical properties, including the ability to replace dietary fat without sacrificing mouthfeel and to replace sugar without impacting on taste.


The glycemic index (GI) is commonly used to rank the (available) carbohydrate content of a food on a scale of 1 to 100 assuming that a glucose drink will give you a value of 100.

Glycemic response was calculated by testing volunteers’ blood glucose levels over a 2 hour period after they had eaten different types of ice-cream. These results were compared with blood glucose levels after consumption of a glucose drink.
The oligofructose ice-cream gave a glycemic response of 13, while the traditional ice-cream gave a glycemic response of 44.

About ORAFTI Group:
ORAFTI Group is a subsidiary of the Belgian agro-food group Raffinerie Tirlemontoise/ Tiense Suikerraffinaderij and is part of the ORAFTI/PALATINIT Ingredients Group of Südzucker (Germany)
ORAFTI Group produces Raftiline® (inulin) and Raftilose® (oligofructose), as well as Raftisweet® (fructose syrups), from chicory roots. ORAFTI Group's head office is in Tienen, Belgium and the company operates in more than 70 countries world wide, with production units in Oreye (Belgium), Wijchen (Netherlands) and Wijgmaal (Belgium). The ORAFTI Group also includes REMY INDUSTRIES, world leading producer of rice starches (Remyline®/ Remygel®), rice flours (Remyflo®) and rice proteins (Remypro®).


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