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Nutritional challenges in urban populations: Fibre supplementation for enhanced gut health

Globally, urban populations are facing nutritional challenges due to the shift towards convenient, readily available foods associated with increased economic prosperity.

This transition from traditional diets to diets with refined carbohydrates, reduced rice consumption, increased dairy, higher fat content, and decreased plant-based fibre has led to rising rates of obesity and related chronic diseases.1​ Sedentary lifestyles exacerbate the problem, resulting in health issues like high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

People with such conditions struggle to find healthy food options outside their homes, often settling for unhealthy meals. Dole Specialty Ingredients (DSI) offers a series of natural tropical fruit products in powder format without artificial additives, avoiding the drawbacks of processed fibre products while maintaining the same health benefits. DSI's minimal processing ensures compatibility with various dietary needs.

Additionally, DSI’s zero-waste approach in fruit agriculture not only extracts value from fruit waste but also minimises environmental impact, reducing landfill waste and greenhouse gas emissions, promoting ecological responsibility, and ensuring long-term sustainability in the face of global challenges.

Fibre-up with natural tropical fruit products

Fibre is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health. It helps to regulate digestion, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.2,3

Despite its importance, many people do not get enough fibre in their diet. Two fruits that are particularly high in fibre are DSI’s bananas and pineapples. DSI’s bananas are a good source of resistant starch, a type of fibre that the body cannot digest. Resistant starch passes through the small intestine undigested and enters the large intestine, where it is fermented by beneficial bacteria.

DSI’s pineapples are also a good source of fibre, including both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre dissolves in water and helps to lower cholesterol levels. Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water and helps to keep the digestive system healthy.

A joint clinical trial conducted by DSI and AMILI’s Food for Health in 2023 looked into the effects of DSI’s natural tropical fruit products on the gut microbiomes of 40 healthy adults in Asia. AMILI conducted analysis into the participants’ gut microbial profile changes, revealing that those who incorporated either one of the two selected DSI’s natural tropical fruit powder products into their morning beverage for 14 days experienced notable enhancements in gut health with no negative impact on physical comfort and wellbeing.

Other benefits included promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria such as Bacteroides ​spp., Bifidobacterium ​spp., and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii​. Additionally, there was a rise in the production of essential metabolites like histidine, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and vitamin B7 (biotin).

Gut microbiome health

The gut microbiome is a complex community of trillions of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. The gut microbiome plays a vital role in many aspects of human health, including digestion, immunity, and metabolism.4,5

DSI’s natural tropical fruit products are a source of fibre that can help to support the beneficial gut microbiome by providing a source of prebiotic fibre. Prebiotic fibre is a type of fibre that cannot be digested by the human body, but it can be fermented by the beneficial bacteria in the gut, thus promoting their growth.

When beneficial bacteria ferment prebiotic fibre, they produce SCFAs. SCFAs are essential for gut health and have been linked to several health benefits, including improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and enhanced immunity.

Optimal individual fibre needs

The recommended daily intake of fibre for adults is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.6​ However, the ideal fibre intake for every individual may vary depending on their age, health status, and activity level.

DSI’s natural tropical fruit products can help individuals to achieve optimal fibre intake by providing a concentrated source of fibre in a convenient and easy-to-use form. Each scoop of DSI’s natural tropical fruit powder product contains five or more grams of fibre.

Overall, both of the tested products are a convenient and effective way to help meet individual fibre needs and support the beneficial gut microbiome.

Here are a few tips for incorporating DSI’s natural tropical fruit products into the daily diet:

  • Add a scoop of DSI’s natural tropical fruit powder to your morning smoothie
  • Mix a scoop of DSI’s natural tropical fruit powder into yogurt or oatmeal
  • Add a scoop of DSI’s natural tropical fruit powder to your favourite baked goods recipe
  • Use DSI’s natural tropical fruit powder to make a healthy pancake or waffle batter
  • Add a scoop DSI’s natural tropical fruit powder to your favourite soup or stew

If you are looking for a simple and effective way to improve gut health, metabolism, and bowel movements, DSI’s natural tropical fruit solutions are a great nutrition option.

Authors: Mr Ooi Wei Tze (DSI/Managing Director), Ms Liew Mei Shan (DSI/Head of Product Development) and Dr Gwendoline Tan (AMILI /Chief Innovation Officer)


1.​ Neuhouser M. L. (2019). The importance of healthy dietary patterns in chronic disease prevention. ​Nutrition research. ​70, 3–6. 
2.​ Barber, T. M.; Kabisch, S.; Pfeiffer, A. F. H.; et al. (2020). The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre.​ Nutrients. 12(10), 3209. 
3.​ Ioniță-Mîndrican, C-B.; Ziani, K.; Mititelu, M.; et al. (2022). Therapeutic Benefits and Dietary Restrictions of Fiber Intake: A State of the Art Review.​ Nutrients. 14(13):2641.
4.​ Hills, R. D.; Jr, Pontefract, B. A.; Mishcon, H. R.; et al. (2019). Gut Microbiome: Profound Implications for Diet and Disease.​ Nutrients. 11(7), 1613.
5. ​Kamada, N.; Seo, S. U.; Chen, G. Y.; et al. (2013). Role of the gut microbiota in immunity and inflammatory disease.​ Nature reviews. Immunology. 13(5), 321–335.
6.​ Mayo Clinic. Nutrition and healthy eating. 
Disclaimer: The findings reported above specifically pertain to the way the products (​DSI’s natural tropical fruit powder) have been processed and prepared. It is crucial to note that these results are not generalised to other products, such as green bananas or pineapples in the market. The observed benefits are directly linked to the specific methods of processing and preparation applied in this study. Therefore, any conclusions or implications drawn from these findings should be limited to the context of the studied product and its unique processing techniques.