Tired after working out? Drink a little protein. Overweight? Fiber might help. Digestive issues? Try probiotics. By adding functional ingredients, formulators of dairy foods and beverages can make health-related claims.
A common sentiment among food industry experts is that consumers aren’t yet ready to hear about prebiotics. I respectfully disagree. As a nutrition therapist, I’ve noticed an increased interest in probiotics among my clients, which is the perfect opportunity to explain that certain fibers, called prebiotics, are needed for probiotics to survive and thrive.
Prebiotics have recently received a plethora of press in the food industry news. Manufacturers of prebiotic ingredients are promoting the “prebiotic properties,” “prebiotic functionality” and “prebiotic benefits” of their products. Writers are touting the “prebiotic effects” of isolated ingredients from novel sources such as spirulina, spruce trees, Yacon root, yams, agave and Jerusalem artichokes.
As scientists learn more about prebiotics, dairy’s prospects increase. For the present time, look to plants if you want to add prebiotics. But for the future, prebiotics could come from the oligosaccharides in whey permeate.
Although 72% of Americans are aware of prebiotics’ association with digestive health, according to the International Food Information Council’s 2011 functional foods survey, most would be hard-pressed to describe prebiotics and their functions. That’s understandable. The story of prebiotics and health is not simple. But as scientists learn more, the story becomes more compelling and worth the telling.
In our February column we discussed the importance of digestive health as the basis of all good nutrition and the role ice cream products could play in terms of providing probiotic (consumption of “live and active beneficial” bacteria) and/or probiotic friendly (that is, prebiotic) mix ingredients. We reviewed delivery of probiotics via active culturing and/or cold inoculation.
Infants, adolescents, adults and seniors have specific nutritional needs. Milk serves as a base for functional ingredients that can deliver those nutrients.
April 10, 2012
Nutritional inadequacies are common among both genders and through all stages of the lifecycle. The majority of Americans simply do not eat a diet that is well-enough balanced to consume a sufficient amount of essential nutrients.
Cost-saving ingredients help processors stay afloat during struggling economic times, while value-added ingredients, which increase production costs, create a point of differentiation in a competitive marketplace.
According to Healthy 50+ Americans: Trends and Opportunities in the Emerging Wellness Market by Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, Rockville, Md., changes in thinking about what it means to get old have occurred alongside a rising concern by consumers of all ages about doing what it takes to improve their health and wellness.