University of Reading Release: Human Taste Study Suggests Sweet Prebiotic Fibres Could Replace High-Calorie Sugars In Food And Drink Products

Published: Jul 17, 2017

Results from a human taste study carried out by the Flavour and Sensory Science Centre at the University of Reading suggest that naturally sweet prebiotic fibres could replace high-calorie sugars in food and drink products. The human gut is unable to digest the long-fibre prebiotics, so while they taste sweet, they are calorie-free. They have been developed by OptiBiotix, one of the world leaders in developing both probiotic and prebiotic microbiome modulators.

The human taste study used a panel of ten experienced experts to test the sweetness of six customised prebiotic sweeteners derived from several high-intensity sweeteners. All of the naturally sweet prebiotics are oligosaccharides, which are carbohydrates which have between three and ten simple sugars linked together [i]. The customised oligosaccharides demonstrated sweetness of between 140x and 223x the sweetness of an equivalent concentration of sugar. This means that a far lower concentration of the oligosaccharides would be required to achieve the same level of sweetness as sugar.

In addition, some of the oligosaccharides were derived from Stevia, the FDA-approved sweetener known for its bitter aftertaste [ii]. The study showed that there was a large reduction in bitterness without any effect on sweetness. Previous human taste studies have confirmed the safety and sweetness of the prebiotic sweeteners. Stephen O’Hara, CEO of OptiBiotix, commented, “We are really pleased with the results of this study, as it opens up opportunities for the development of a range of natural, sweet prebiotic fibres which can be used to replace sugar in food and beverages. With growing public and political concerns over traditional sugars and artificial sweeteners, OptiBiotix is leading research in an area of growing interest.”

Reducing the sugar content of food and drink products is a key objective for the food industry, particularly following Public Health England’s announcement of its sugar reduction guidelines [iii]. PHE has 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.

All of the prebiotic sweeteners were developed using OptiBiotix’s technology platform. The platform generates prebiotic microbiome modulators which increase the growth, biological activity, and health benefit of individual genera or species in the human microbiome. OptiBiotix has conducted ground-breaking research in microbiome modulation, including in the area of cholesterol reduction, and has recently launched a range of cholesterol-reducing probiotics.

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 https://commonfund.nih.gov/hmp/index

Web MD http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/what-your-gut-bacteria-say-your-health#1

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.

http://www.optibiotix.com/

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 https://commonfund.nih.gov/hmp/index

Web MD http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/what-your-gut-bacteria-say-your-health#1

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.

http://www.optibiotix.com/

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