From November 2019
Repurposing food waste to make a high fibre claim
On average, people in the UK do not eat enough fibre.
A report produced by the Scientific Advisory Committee
on Nutrition in 2015 suggested the average adult should
consume 30g of dietary fibre a day.
Consumers who do
not achieve this expose themselves to an increased risk
of obesity, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancers.
Consumers are becoming aware of these risks and this
has increased the demand for high fibre products.
Consequently, food and drink manufacturers are now
under pressure to reformulate their products with
more fibre so that they qualify for fibre claims. But what
approaches can they take to achieve this?
Two common methods manufacturers use to enhance
the fibre in their products include incorporating:
- pure fibres, e.g. inulin, or
- whole ingredients naturally high in fibre, e.g. seeds
Alternatively, manufacturers can tap into food waste
streams to incorporate highly fibrous foods into their
products - with the added benefit of repurposing food
and reducing waste. Our member-funded project ‘Calorie
reduction and fibre enhancement’ is focused on this.
Food waste for high fibre
Our bakery scientists redeveloped a traditional tortilla by
replacing 20% of the ordinary flour with butternut squash
skin powder, increasing the tortilla’s fibre by 97% (from
3.3g to 6.5g per 100g).
Our team created this powder by grinding up peels
supplied by Campden BRI member, Barfoots of
Botley Ltd, to support the project. The peels would
otherwise go to waste when manufacturers process
butternut squash, for example, with soup.
The benefits of this approach
Consumers like familiarity, as was made apparent at our
recent Sensory and Consumer MIG meeting. A guest
speaker from Mindlab presented findings from a large-scale
consumer survey which showed that consumers favour
products that are familiar, as opposed to novel. So,
increasing the fibre of an existing product that’s well known
to consumers (as we did with the tortillas) holds potential as
an effective route to increasing the public’s fibre intake.
Also, if it was on the market, the reformulated tortilla
could declare a ‘high fibre’ claim (see right) making it more
appealing to consumers.
Repurposing food waste
‘Getting more from less’ has been a major ‘need’
articulated by our members which was again repeated at
recent MIG meetings where members expressed their
desire to reduce food waste. This recent work has shown
an effective way of repurposing waste in a product
without impacting heavily on its functionality (see August
newsletter for more).
Wheat flour has many favourable qualities. For example, it
forms gluten relatively quickly. Unsurprisingly, replacing the
tortilla’s wheat flour with the butternut squash skin powder
affected the tortilla’s functionality. As our powder increased
gluten formation time, longer mixing times would need to
be factored in when taking on a similar approach. In a
previous experiment where we used butternut squash skin
powder to make a naan bread, we also found that as more
powder was incorporated, the naan lost volume and
became hard. However, as the ratio of water is higher when
using the powder instead of wheat flour, there is potential
for higher yields at lower cost.
We are currently trialling different types of
commercial fibres at varying concentrations in a pizza
base, tomato sauce and in meatballs, while assessing any
characteristics that may affect product quality or
We would love to get your ideas on which product types you
would like us to use in our upcoming consumer/sensory trials.
Get in touch or attend the Nutrition and Health MIG meeting
early next year to provide feedback.
Contact: Lucas Westphal
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