Reformulating many of today’s food and beverages to reduce sugar and calories can be challenging, but developers are finding solutions in the Fibersol family of soluble corn fiber ingredients. This line of ingredients delivers many of sugar’s critical baking functionalities and improves product qualities such as texture, taste and shelf life while cutting sugar’s calories and boosting fiber.
“Product developers hammering away at their latest reformulation can be forgiven for feeling like they’ve been here before, because they have,” said Katheryne Rehberg, business manager, fiber at ADM. “Just as the 1980s ushered in an era of fat reduction, the early 2000s saw an outbreak of carb phobia, and the past few years were all about saying goodbye to gluten, today’s nutrition mission is to cut sugar and its accompanying calories. And that has everyone from the medical community to FDA to the local lunch lady leaning on industry to design products with less of the sweet stuff, but just as much consumer appeal as ever."
“The challenge is that trimming sugar isn’t as simple as substituting an alternative sweetener and calling it a day,” said Kati Ledbetter, product development scientist, ADM. “While the latest generation of high-intensity options does a great job of replicating sugar’s sweet taste, most fall short when it comes to performing the essential functions sugar takes on behind the scenes,” said Ledbetter.
Nowhere is this more true than in bakery, where sugar supplies everything from bulk and structure to browning and moisture management. So when sugar reduction in baked goods is the goal, formulators need a replacement that can pick up the sweetener’s slack in more ways than one.
Such is the case with Fibersol-HS, which boasts a honey-like sweetness welcome in many bakery applications with approximately half of honey’s calories. Highly concentrated Fibersol-2 can stand in for sugar’s bulk and contributes just 1.6 calories/gram. Easy-to-use Fibersol-LQ liquid replaces sugar, it also adds humectancy to bakery formulations, improving texture and shelf life. At 75 percent soluble fiber on a dry-weight basis, it can also turn a sweet treat into a substantial source of this “nutrient of concern.”
That’s great nutrition news, especially given that certain non-viscous soluble fibers aren’t digestible into glucose following a meal, which is important for people looking to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. The fiber in the Fibersol family is just such a fiber. So reducing sugar levels while boosting fiber isn’t just a handy reformulation option; it’s a product-development strategy with important implications for public health. More fiber, less sugar, fewer calories: call it a winning formula in today’s health-and-wellness climate.
“We want manufacturers to know there is an easy way to reduce sugar and calories while adding fiber,” said Ledbetter. “Fibersol-2 can be used to replace sugar and provide a crisper texture that can help extend shelf life. Additionally, with the use of Fibersol-2, a bakery product can maintain a taste and sweetness profile that consumers will love,” said Ledbetter.
The benefits of using Fibersol-2 in a bakery application include:
- Adding dietary fiber
- Clean, neutral taste that doesn’t interfere with the bakery product or coating
- A crisp texture that helps extend shelf life
- Can help support label claims of “low/reduced sugar” and “low/reduced calories”
- Replaces bulk lost during sugar-reduction reformulations
- Creates minimal gastrointestinal distress, even at high use rates
- Is appropriate for use in many bakery applications with minimal formulation adjustments
- May appear on ingredient statements as “soluble corn fiber,” “digestion resistant maltodextrin,” “resistant maltodextrin” or “maltodextrin”
Fibersol-2 is an operationally friendly soluble corn fiber and is a great go-to solution for bakery developers’ sugar-reduction and fiber-fortification challenges. With its mild taste, ease-of-use and positive effects on a range of product textures, Fibersol is a go-to choice for reducing sugar and calories across bakery applications, while adding the dietary fiber that consumers demand.