Thursday, June 13, 2019

Designing Dairy Products to Help Consumers Feel Good

A takeaway from IFT19, the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and expo, was a growing interest in designing foods to help consumers feel good. This is consistent with research from Innova identifying “feeling good” as one of the top-10 trends for 2019.

Achieving “feeling good,” as it relates to food, has many meanings. In some instances, it’s the role that nutrition plays in physical health. Other times it may be comfort food impacting emotional well-being. Sometimes food calms, other times it may energize. Of course, satisfying and deliciousness almost always come into play.

One thing is for sure. A growing number of consumers recognize that feeling good comes from the inside out and digestive health influences both body and mind.

The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2019 Food and Health Survey shows that about one-fourth (23%) of all shoppers seek out foods for a health benefit. Of that segment, more than half are looking for digestive health benefits.

Data from NMI shows that nearly two out of five (39%) consumers are trying to manage digestive issues. Interestingly, it is younger millennials (20 to 26 years old) who are really on board with digestive health. These young adults are likely seeking out foods that help keep the good bacteria in their gut thriving.

Source: International Food Information Council Foundation

That’s what you get with probiotics and prebiotics. That’s what Activia Probiotic Dailies low-fat yogurt drinks deliver. If you have not explored Danone North America’s Activia website lately, link HERE. It’s really quite impressive. The Dailies contain billions of live and active probiotics, prebiotic fiber in the form of chicory root fiber and real ginger, all ingredients known to support gut health.

The brand educates the reader on probiotics and that all probiotics are not created equal, explaining that all yogurts contain Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, but not all yogurts contain probiotics. L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus are bacteria used to ferment milk to create acidic dairy products such as yogurt. On the other hand, probiotics are live friendly bacteria that have been scientifically studied and when consumed in sufficient amounts provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition. Activia yogurt contains two probiotics: Lactococcus lactis and Danone’s proprietary probiotic culture: Bifidobacterium lactis DN 173 010/CNCM I-2494.

Source: NMI

While all probiotics are not created equal, neither are prebiotics.

A review of the science of prebiotics was presented in a consensus statement developed by the International Scientific Association for Probiotic and Prebiotics (ISAPP) in 2017 and in a meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in June 2018. The consensus is: “A prebiotic is a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit.”

According to this definition and the published clinical research, the only dietary fibers that can be called “scientifically proven prebiotics” are galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) and fructans, such as inulin and oligofructose. This makes chicory root fiber a natural, plant-based prebiotic. It’s a fiber that’s been proven to help one “feel good.”

Source: International Food Information Council Foundation

While many consumers are still learning about fibers and prebiotics, their awareness of fiber and prebiotics is growing. The IFIC research shows that both fiber and prebiotics are increasingly recognized as being healthful.

Link HERE to download a white paper from BENEO explaining how chicory root fibers function as prebiotic fibers and assist with “feel good” perception. The company provides data measured scientifically by designated questionnaires addressing quality of life.

In addition to assisting with digestive health, there are other benefits to formulating dairy foods with chicory root fiber. Certain forms may replace fat and sugar in formulations, helping reduce caloric content without altering taste or texture. They also may contribute to balanced blood sugar levels, as well as support the absorption of essential minerals in food.

Probiotics and prebiotics help dairy foods marketers differentiate in the crowded refrigerator space. They add value to dairy foods and help today’s shoppers “feel good.” Sounds like a recipe for success!

No comments:

Post a Comment