JA Inulin is a prebiotic soluble dietary fiber with texturizing properties. It has a neutral to sweet taste profile and provides value-added health benefits.
JA Inulin is extracted from Jerusalem Artichokes. It is a white, odorless, soluble powder with a slightly sweet taste and no aftertaste. It contains a mixture of oligo- and polysaccharides which are composed of fructose units connected by β (2-1) links. Almost every molecule is terminated by a glucose unit. The total number of fructose or glucose units (Degree of polymerization, or DP) of JA inulin ranges mainly between 2 and 60.
Nutritional Benefits Besides its functional properties, JA Inulin also has a great number of nutritional properties that deliver health benefits and in particular contribute to:
Intestinal health based onWeight Management based on - Dietary fiber properties - Low caloric Value - Prebiotic effect - Enhanced satiety - Increased immune resistance - Low glycemic index
Bone Health based on Heart Health based on - Improved calcium absorption - Lowering of blood lipid concentration
Opportunities for the food industry: The health benefits of JA Inulin provide numerous opportunities to develop functional foods in various sectors such as dairy, bakery, beverage, cereals and cereal bars, supplements, confectionary, ice cream, infant formulas, fat spreads, etc.
Intestinal Health JA inulin cannot be digested by the digestive enzymes nor broken down by the gastric acids in the human digestive system. Therefore, these non-digestible carbohydrates function as insoluble dietary fibers.
In general, dietary fibers influence the consistency of stomach and bowel content, the rate of discharge from the stomach and intestines and thus the rate at which nutrients and other desirable and/or undesirable substances are absorbed. Furthermore they have a great effect on our bowel movements. This makes dietary fibers an essential part of our daily menu. However in most affluent societies and average adult eats only 15 - 20 grams per day, where the recommendation is actually 30 grams per day, or more. Incorporation of inulin in food and beverages helps to up the daily fiber intake and stimulates the digestive system. Moreover, JA inulin is made up of prebiotic dietary fibers. In the large intestine this inulin is fermented by the friendly bacteria that are naturally present in the colon’s microflora (the community of microorganisms present in the colon).
The friendly bifidobacteria and lactobacilli are selectively stimulated at the expense of potentially harmful bacteria. As a result, the friendly bacteria multiply and, at the same time, potential pathogenic bacteria (such as clostridia and E. coli) are significantly reduced in numbers. This is known as the prebiotic or bifidogenic effect, and results in a healthier colon flora. This in turn generates several health benefits for the consumer, such as: - Improved bowel movement - Lowered blood triglycerides - Enhanced mineral bio-availability - Increased immune resistance The increased immune resistance may be an effect of the stimulation of the immune system by the increased number of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in combination with enhanced colonization resistance.
As described earlier, JA inulin is composed of the type of carbohydrates which are not digested in the human digestive system, but instead are fermented in the large intestine. Hence, they do not deliver the full caloric content of digestible carbohydrates, nor do they have an impact on blood glucose levels. The caloric value is only 2 kcal/g and this is based on the metabolism of the fermentation products that are absorbed from the colon. By using inulin as a sweetness enhancer and a fat replacer it is possible to create products with a lower caloric content and lower glycemic index values without compromising taste and texture.
Diets rich in sugar and starch (simple carbohydrates) digest into sugars (glucose) and consequently raise blood sugar levels. This, in turn, activates the hormone insulin in the body which burns the glucose in the muscles or stores the excess as fat. The blood sugar level declines and signals hunger; restarting the process again. Overeating and weight gain are the result.
JA Inulin lowers the glycemic load of food, which leads to less production of inulin and thus it supports people in their aim to control and manage their weight. Diabetics also benefit from more stable blood sugar levels, making inulin an excellent ingredient for diabetic products.
Functional Benefits Besides the nutritional properties that deliver health benefits, JA Inulin also has a great number of functional properties: - Sugar replacer - Taste enhancer - Fat replacer - Texturizer / mouth feel improvement - Low calorific value - Solubility
In addition to providing sweetness, sugar acts as a bulking agent in many foods, improving the mouth feel, texture and stability of the end product. JA Inulin, in combination with bulk or intensive sweeteners, is a very useful and viable sweetness enhancer in most foods. Our JA inulin has a sweetness level in the range of 40-50% of the sweetness of sucrose (sugar).
Fat replacer The remarkable rheological properties of inulin make JA Inulin an effective fat substitute in many foods. In combination with hydrocolloids, excellent formulations can be created to reduce fat content in fat spreads, dressings, dairy, and bakery products.
Low caloric value Fermentation products such as short chain fatty acids and lactic acid produced during the conversion of inulin by the colonic microbiota are partly absorbed by the human body. This provides the body with a modest quantity of energy, namely 2 kcal per gram of inulin.
Taste Enhancer Sensory tests have shown that JA inulin is able to mask the after-tastes of most high intensity sweeteners, such as stevia extracts and others.
Texturiser JA inulin is very suitable for application in low-calorie foods. The high texturizing properties of this product gives foods an improved mouth feel. Texture plays a very important role in dairy products e.g. yogurt, fermented milk drinks and deserts. In addition, JA Inulin can be a key ingredient in the formulation of low calorie snacks, giving a creamy mouth feel to biscuit fillings and a smooth chewy texture to cereal bars.
Good Solubility JA Inulin has excellent solubility, high stability and dispersability. It is the perfect source of prebiotic soluble fiber for fortified clear beverages or for homogeneous smooth liquid dairy products, or any other liquid applications where a value-added, low caloric, soluble prebiotic fiber can be an attractive addition to a product.
Application Opportunities JA Inulin has unique texture modifying characteristics, which can improve the rheological and textural properties of food. Its capability to form a gel and neutral, sweet taste make inulin an effective fat substitute or sweetness enhancer in a wide range of products.
Besides its technological properties, JA Inulin also contributes from a nutritional perspective, being a prebiotic dietary fiber. Its high solubility, neutral taste, color and versatility make it an ideal ingredient for a wide range of applications: - In dairy products - In beverages - In bakery products - In cream and ice cream - In cereals and cereal bars - In soups and other packaged foods
JA Inulin can also be applied in a wide array of other applications, such as: - Meat products (improved moisture-binding). - Stable low fat or no-fat margarine and spreads. - Sauces and desserts (optimized flow behavior). - Confectionary (sugar reduction / replacement).
FAQ’s - Is there a maximum daily intake for inulin? There is no ADI (acceptable daily intake) for inulin. This means that the government has not set a maxim for inulin consumption. It is estimated that 15-20 g of inulin per day for adults may be a suitable guideline.
- Is inulin suitable for diabetics? Inulin is a complex carbohydrate that does not increase the glucose content of blood. It is therefore very suitable for diabetics.
- How many grams of inulin per day create a prebiotic effect? Scientific research has shown that a daily intake of 5 grams of inulin or fructooligosaccharides significantly increases “positive gut bacteria” (bifidobacteria and lactobacilli).
- What are the similarities and differences between probiotics, prebiotocs, and synbiotics? -Probiotics are living micro-organisms, usually lactobacilli, that reside in the large intestine and have a favorable effect on the intestinal microbiota. -Prebiotics are components that are fermented by naturally occurring intestinal bacteria in the gut and have a positive effect on the composition of the colonic microbiota. -Synbiotics contain both pre- and probiotic components.
- What are the similarities and differences between fructans, inulin and fructooligosaccharides? -Fructan is the group name of a number of fructose polymers (often with a terminal glucose molecule). -Inulin is a member of the fructan family and is characterized by the β(2→1) bond between the fructose units. The length of the inulin molecules depends on the vegetable from which the inulin is extracted. The chain length of inulin derived from Jerusalem Artichoke varies from 2 to 60 fructose units. -Inulin variants that consist mainly of shorter chains (generally up to 20 fructose units) are known as fructooligosaccharides. - Is inulin stable during heating or in an acidic environment? Inulin is highly stable when heated, even to the high temperatures used for sterilization. At pH values below 3.7 there is a risk of inulin partially hydrolyzing. The degree of hydrolysis depends on time, temperature, product composition and pH.
- Is inulin soluble? Inulin is soluble in water and therefore quite suitable for use in many food products.