Naturally Sweet Prebiotic Fibres From OptiBiotix Could Dramatically Cut Food’s Sugar Content

Published: Apr 10, 2017

Optibiotix, one of the world leader’s in the development of human microbiome modulators, is developing a range of naturally sweet prebiotic fibres which are not digested in the human gut. The prebiotics are long-fibre sugars which tastes sweet, but are not broken down or absorbed by the body. Therefore, they contain no calories, and could be used as healthy sweeteners without adding to a food’s sugar content or contributing to obesity. Unlike artificial sweeteners, these prebiotics taste the same as sugar, which OptiBiotix has confirmed in human taste studies.

Public Health England has recently encouraged the food industry to cut sugar by 20% by 2020 by lowering sugar levels, reducing the number of calories per portion, or promoting lower sugar products. These new sugar guidelines are part of the government’s drive to reduce childhood obesity. Currently, children are consuming three times more sugar every day than recommended, and one in five children are obese when they start primary school.

Stephen O’Hara, CEO of OptiBiotix, commented, “The news of Public Health England’s plans to reduce sugar in consumer products by 20%, and the previously announced sugar tax on soft drinks which comes into force next April, reflects the need to reduce sugar intake, particularly in children. OptiBiotix recognises the difficulties of changing consumer behaviour and is developing sweet healthy prebiotic fibres called SweetBiotix® which are not digested in the human gut, and hence calorie free. This is an innovative concept which has the potential to address public health concerns over the impact of sugar on obesity, with the prospect of replacing ‘unhealthy’ sugars in existing products with non-digestible, low calorie, SweetBiotix®. Our research so far has demonstrated our ability to synthesise SweetBiotix®, and has confirmed safety and sweetness in human taste studies. If we are able to sustain the rate of current progress we could be in a position to launch our first generation SweetBiotix®’s product later this year, or at the start of 2018.”

The prebiotic fibre, SweetBiotix®, has been developed by Optibiotix, in conjunction with academia, using its technology platform which generates prebiotic microbiome modulators which increase the growth, biological activity, and health benefit of individual genera or species in the human microbiome.

On behalf of Optibiotix Health plc
Simon Vane Percy
Vane Percy & Roberts
(T) +44 (0) 1737 821890

The human microbiome

The human digestive tract contains a complex and diverse ecosystem of trillions of bacteria. Recently, advances in molecular and analytical techniques (metagenomics, metabolomics) have permitted identification and quantitation of species and strains of bacteria that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract, their metabolic activity, and interactions with the human host. These studies have provided greater insight into the role of gut and their metabolites in health and disease. NIH

Web MD

About OptiBiotix

OptiBiotix was formed in March 2012 by microbiologist Stephen O’Hara to develop compounds which modify the human microbiome – the collective genome of the microbes in the body – to prevent and manage human disease.

The aim of OptiBiotix is to discover and develop microbial strains, compounds and formulations, which modulate the human microbiome and can be used as food ingredients and supplements or active compounds for the prevention and management of human metabolic diseases, examples of which include obesity, cholesterol and lipid distribution and diabetes.

OptiBiotix has established a pipeline of microbiome modulators that can impact on lipid and cholesterol management, energy harvest and appetite suppression. The development pipeline is fuelled by its proprietary OptiScreen® and OptiBiotic® platform technologies designed to identify metabolic pathways and compounds that impact on human physiology and bring potential health benefits. These platforms are applicable across a wider range of other human diseases.

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