Remember when pasta was placed on the hit list during the low carb craze? Those days may be over, thanks to glucomannon fibre hitting the spotlight. Glucomannon, the newest fibre the mainstream media is canoodling with, is a viscous fibre from the Asian konjac plant. A recent story in the Wall Street Journal mentions how a bowl of noodles made from glucomannon "can help you lose weight by keeping you full longer."
Until recently the fibre was best known in AHD's LuraLean dietary supplement. LuraLean was one of the 2009 NutrAward finalists and was featured in the Nutracon SlimSlam the same year. Now the ingredient is showing up in meal replacement drinks, food sprinkles and even noodles. Strumba Media LLC of West Hollywood, California brands their konjac noodles as a Miracle Noodle that "prolongs the sensation of fullness and will dramatically lower calorie intake."
Adding scientific merit to claims like Strumba's is research from the University of Connecticut using capsules, biscuits and energy bars made from glucomannon. The meta-analysis shows that the fibre appears to lower bad cholesterol, keep blood glucose low and show a minor affect on weight loss (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008).
The Wall Street Journal article also cites a new ingredient called PGX, which is made from a blend of fibres including glucommanon. PGX is sold by InovoBiologics Inc., a Canadian company that funded a study showing that participants ate less pizza after taking PGX. PGX is aimed at saving us from ourselves. Consumer marketing touts the line, "PGX will change your life, even if you don't."
Whether PGX can do all it claims, clearly food manufacturers will noodle around with new ideas to use konjac fibre in foods, beverage and supplements.