Could the next big fiber ingredient come from carrots? Absolutely, say Brandeis University scientists, who found that dried carrot pulp provides all the health benefits of other fibers, without the common problems like indigestion or bloating.
K.C. Hayes, DVM, PhD, professor emeritus of biology (nutrition) at Brandeis, told WCVB Boston that carrot pulp, or pomace, could revolutionize the food industry as a better source of fiber. And Hayes knows his ingredients. Years ago, he developed the science behind Smart Balance products.
Hayes and his team discovered the pomace’s promise after blending it into a powder for food for animal studies. They found that the carrot fiber was far superior to red beet and sugar beet fiber in terms of digestibility and nutrition. "It's almost as though this product is bringing its own package of goodies, in these special sugars, to our bacteria that are waiting there for this special stuff," he told the news station.
"The cereal folks are very, very interested," said Rebecca Menapace, executive director of the university's Hassenfeld Family Innovation Center. "There are some little tricks of the trade in how you have to dry it and process it, but we're not adding any other chemicals to it. It's a pretty pure product." A clean, simple ingredient like dried carrot pomace could help give soggy cereal sales a boost, Food Dive noted.
Brandeis has received funding to begin human trials on the ingredient’s health claims. Hayes expects to see carrot pomace for sale as a dietary supplement or food additive within a year.