Tate & Lyle backs Asian prebiotic in Europe

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

A new partnership with chemical group Solvay will enable the distribution of a low dosage prebiotic food ingredient with multiple food and drink applications within Europe, the Middle East and Africa, claims Tate & Lyle.

Already in use as a food ingredient in dairy and infant nutrition applications in Asia, Solvay’s milk derived carbohydrate, Solactis Galactofructose,​ has potential for use in baked goods, soups, sauces and dressings as well as beverages, said the ingredients supplier.

Sandra Einerhand, Tate & Lyle director of health and nutritional sciences, explained that the Solvay group, traditionally focused on the pharmaceutical and chemical markets, required a partner with food and beverage application expertise to promote the ingredient with food and drink companies in Europe and neighbouring markets.

Open innovation

“The teaming up with Solvay was generated by our open innovation policy. We are continually seeking out ingredients that fit with our growing health and wellness portfolio and Solvay can benefit from our technical knowledge and distribution network,” ​she told NutraIngredients.com.

Solactis Galactofructose complements our dietary fibre platform, and there is strong scientific evidence for its prebiotic and digestive tract regulation claims,”​ added Einerhand.

Scientific evidence

According to Solvay, galactofructose was first employed as a food ingredient for infant milk formulas in the 1950s and since the 1960s has also been used in the pharmaceutical industry in North America, Asia and Europe:

“It is supported by more than 50 years of scientific research, 30 of them conducted by Solvay,”​ stated the global chemical group.

Galactose and fructose are ‘single’ sugars or monosaccharides. They can be linked together to form a ‘double’ sugar or disaccharide.

Low dose usage

Einerhand maintains that the uniqueness of the Solactis Galactofructose is its effectiveness at reduced doses, and its additional benefits in terms of digestion comfort.

“The product benefits from the double claim 'prebiotic + transit regulation' at a recommended daily dose of 2.5 grams, whereas other prebiotics require a daily consumption of five grams,”​ she said.

Stability

According to Einerhand, the prebiotic ingredient is very combinable in powder or liquid form with a wide variety of flavours, is stable at low pH and shows good resistance in hot temperatures:

“In addition, it has no taste issues and has a very light sweetness,”​ she claims.

Approval

The claims regarding Solactis Galactofructose were approved by the Belgian Federal Health Department (SPF Santé) in 2006, have been recommended by the Italian public health authorities and are currently being evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), according to Solvay.

Einerhand said that Tate & Lyle is launching Solactis, as part of its Enrich offering, at the trade show, Food Ingredients Europe (FIE), in Frankfurt next month.

Pending EFSA approval for the product, of which we are very confident, we will be collaborating with our customer base and evaluating the behaviour and characteristics of the product with their food products,” ​she added.

Pricing structure

Pascal Ronfard, Solactis progamme manager at Solvay, told this publication that the liquid form of the ingredient has 50 per cent purity and costs €3.50 per kilogram, while the dry version, with 74 per cent purity, is priced at €9.50 per kg.

Solvay’s Solactis Galactofructose ​recently won the Frost & Sullivan 2009 European Digestive Health Ingredients’ Award.

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