The Thai FDA recently approved the claim “inulin / fructo-oligosaccharide / oligofructose / short-chain inulin from chicory helps to increase bifidobacteria in the intestine.”
The approval was granted exclusively to Sensus’ Frutafit® inulin and Frutalose® fructo-oligosaccharides made from chicory roots.
The claim has been supported by various studies, one of which is a research review published in Beneficial Microbes, which showed that fructans from sources such as chicory roots has resulted in increased levels of bifidobacterial in the faeces of adults and children.
With the Thai FDA approving the claim, this will help expand the consumers’ understanding and perception of chicory root fibre, Tiong Sing Sing, technical sales manager at Sensus told NutraIngredients-Asia.
“Before the Thai FDA granted this health claim, chicory root fibre can be used in general foods and health supplement products as one of the sources of dietary fibre.
“In Thailand, most consumers associate dietary fibre to bowel movement.
“With this claim approval, consumers can now differentiate chicory root fibre from other types of fibres – one which exerts prebiotic effect by helping to increase the amount of bifidobacterial in the intestine – beyond just facilitating bowel movement,” Tiong said.
The company’s chicory root fibre products can be applied to a range of food and beverages such as dairy, soy-based products, breakfast cereal, beverages without caffeine, and dietary supplements.
Present and future applications
Tiong said the awareness of chicory root fibre as a prebiotic ingredient was generally higher in Northeast Asia, such as China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.
This is due to their history in consuming fermented foods, which generally contain some beneficial bacterial that can improve gut health.
She said that the South East Asia countries have been catching up on the trend due to more access to social media and information related to advance science.
In terms of product application, she said that there was a greater use of chicory root in milk formula and dietary supplements in APAC.
Moving forward, she believes the ingredient would be used in more “better for you” foods.