Fiber continues to grow in popularity as a healthy ingredient for formulators to incorporate into their food products. And just like with any popular kid, this “cool" factor also demands a new look and an original style.
Consumers can now increase their fiber intake through fortified gummies and chews, which initially targeted kids, but now come as a part of multivitamin packages that attract adults, said BI Nutraceuticals’ Cornelia. In addition, because consumers demand healthier snack options, traditionally “indulgent" snacks must now compete with their high-fiber counterparts. Fiber has even made its way into dairy products, as new yogurt products feature whole grain ingredients to up the population’s fiber consumption.
Scott Turowski, technical sales manager, Sensus, also discussed fiber’s expansion into the realm of dairy ingredients. He said fibers with prebiotic properties, such as chicory root fiber, can help aid in digestive health and attract consumers who often seek out yogurt for its probiotic benefits.
Fiber’s evolution has allowed the ingredient to make its way into supplements, beverages, shakes, baked goods and beyond. Soluble fibers were traditionally delivered in confectionery products, so fiber-fortified chocolates and gummies will continue to rise in popularity, said Ingredion’s Vega. Shakes and powder mixes for sports nutrition are also projected to experience growth in coming years, along with the sector of toddler foods, snacks and pouches.
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