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Fugeia bullish about prospects for newly-approved wheat bran fiber

Even the best ingredients can fall into obscurity if regulatory approval doesn't come in a timely fashion. Fugeia's new fiber ingredient has been spared such a fate and the supplier looks forward to booming business.

Belgium-based functional ingredients company Fugeia expects its Brana Vita soluble fiber to prove a hit with European consumers after it was approved as safe to eat under the EU’s Novel Food Regulation.

Fugeia said Brana Vita, which is an arabinoxylan oligosaccharide (AXOS) derived from the cell walls of wheat bran, was a “very potent prebiotic” and offered strong antioxidant activity due to the presence of AXOS-bound polyphenols.

With the Novel Food approval under its belt, Fugeia now intends to market Brana Vita in a range of functional food categories such as breakfast cereals, dairy products and drinks.

Willem Broekaert, managing director and co-founder of Fugeia, said: “This all-natural ingredient derived from wheat bran will be a strong contender in the soluble fiber market. Food companies are all looking for ingredients of which the consumer trusts and understands the origin. Wheat bran is widely known and trusted as an excellent fiber source with a positive impact on digestive health. Our market research shows that consumers will recognize foods made with fiber from wheat bran as premium products."

Olivier Lescroart, thecompany's head of regulatory affairs, added: “After obtaining GRAS status and an FDA no objection letter for the US market during 2010, we are delighted to now be able to announce EU Novel Food approval. This approval comes less than eighteen months after introducing our initial request, which speaks to the very strong safety record of our ingredient and the quality of our datapack.”

Fugeia was founded in 2008 in Leuven, Belgium, as a spin-off venture by the University of Leuven and KaHo University College. The company's international investor consortium includes Tate & Lyle Ventures, Agri Investment Fund, Gemma Frisius Fund, KBC and BNP-Paribas-Fortis.

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