From November 2019
Challenges of incorporating inulin and fructans
Inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) have attracted a great deal of
interest as functional dietary fibres. With their mild sweetness but lack
of distinct flavour, inulin and FOS can be used to replace sugar or
enhance fibre in certain products. As manufacturers seek to reduce
calories in their products, incorporating these ingredients
(to reduce calorie density) may be a way of achieving this.
However, inulin and FOS are not for everybody. As ‘FODMAPs’*, they can cause digestive
discomfort, when consumed
above certain levels in the diet, in susceptible individuals. It’s therefore important for manufacturers and
inform consumers of the levels of these ingredients in their products - this requires analysis.
Testing for fibre is tricky as the available methods provide slightly different results
depending on the fibres present in the
product. We have recently developed and validated an improved method for the measurement of inulin and
fructans in a wide range of products including chocolate, wholegrain breakfast drinks, smoothies and protein
We are the only laboratory that conducts this analysis in the UK, so the method is an
important part of our analytical
support to members and other clients. It is also an important aspect of our project on calorie reduction
enhancement, which is exploring the value of inulin for this purpose.
* Fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols
Contact: Mike Adams
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