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What

Effect Does Inulin Have On Texture, Appearance, Composition and Nutritional Values in Snack Bars? Sandra Petrovets 14 March 2013

Introduction: In America, snacks are part of a regular diet and are on the rise with providing about

one-fourth of the daily calories. The nutritional bar/snack market has doubled the rate of conventional foods market and makes about $6 billion.1 Traditionally snack bars were eaten for weight loss but now people are eating snack bars for healthy eating habits and those eaters consumed 36% more snack meals per year. Statistics show that the consumption of snack and other bars is increasing in the billions in both the world and in the United States. In 2001, the world spent $4.4 billion on snack bars alone. This has increased to $9.1 billion in 2011.3 In the United States, $2.7 billion were spent on snack bars in 2001 and in 2011 it has increased to $4.7 billion.3 These statistics do not include granola/muesli bars, breakfast bars, energy bars, fruit bars, and other snack bars. Snacking is on the rise and Americans arent getting enough fiber in their diets from natural sources. Recommended fiber intakes for Americans are 19-38 grams per day.13 More than 90% of Americans are below the daily recommended amount.13 There is a growing customer demand for healthy, natural, and convenient foods and companies are trying to improve snack foods nutrition by modifying their composition.7 One solution is to add inulin, a functional food ingredient, to snacks bars, to increase the amount of fiber intake in Americans. In 2011, research showed that snack bars produced were 37.9% high fiber, 30.9% were high protein, and 25.1% were no gluten.1 With the addition of inulin, what effect does inulin have on snack bars in regards to texture, appearance, composition and nutritional values? Functional Food Definition:

The term functional foods was first introduced in Japan, mid-1980s, as processed

foods that contained components providing specific body functions as an improvement of health in the Japanese older population and to reduce health-care costs.11 Functional foods has no legal meaning in the US but is used as a marketing idiom. The American Dietetic Associations (ADA) definition says that functional foods that include whole foods and fortified, enriched or enhanced foods have a beneficial effect on health when consumed on a regular basis at effective levels.2 The ADAs definition of functional foods is that food provides nutrients, substances that give energy, sustain growth, or repair and maintain vital processes and is functional at some physiological level.2 The United States definition says that any food or food component that might have health benefits beyond basic nutrition is a functional food.2 Canadas definition includes appearance, conventional foods, and has to be part of a usual diet while Europes definition includes benefits on the functions of the body. Japans new definition includes that functional foods must remain foods and cant be pills.2 There are many different definitions of functional foods and no global definition has been developed yet. Functional foods are viewed as the road to optimal wellness and people are using functional foods more because they want to be in control of their health, because of the high health care costs and high competitive food market, more technology advances, and more evidence-based research that links diet to chronic disease risk reduction.2 Inulin and Natural Resources: Inulin is a naturally occurring functional food fiber in about 36,000 plants where it is

used as an energy reserve. Two main types of inulin used in the industry are Jerusalem artichoke and chicory root, with chicory being used most commonly. Chicory stores inulin as a

concentrated reserve and is equal to 15-20% inulin. Monosaccharides and disaccharides make up 10% and 30% are oligosaccharides.14 Inulin is a fermentable, prebiotic fiber that is non- digestible by the body and transported to the large intestine where the microflora uses it.4 Prebiotic is defined as non-digestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, and thus improve host health.5,6 Also, inulin is a source of dietary fiber as the Codex Alimentariuss global definition of a dietary fiber applies to it. A dietary fiber has carbohydrate polymers with 10 or more monomeric units not hydrolyzed by endogenous enzymes in the small intestine of humans and belong to categories of edible polymers naturally occurring. Also, the carbohydrate polymers and synthetic polymers have to be obtained from raw material by physical, enzymatic or chemical means and they have to have a physiological benefit to health with accepted scientific evidence to competent authorites.7 Inulin is composed of 10-65 linear fructose residues linked at the beta-2-1 position with a terminal glucose and is the most plentiful carbohydrate, after starch, in the plant kingdom. Inulin resists enzymatic hydrolysis in the human digestive tract and arrives intact to the large intestine. In the large intestine, it is fermented by the bifodobacteria and lactobacillus species of good bacteria in the colon.5 Best sources of inulin can be found in natural sources of chicory root (35.7-47.6g/100g), Jerusalem artichokes (16.0-20.0g/100g), and dandelion root (12.0-15.0g/100g).4,5 Chicory root is one of the most popular and main ingredients in inulin supplements.4 Other sources include garlic, leek, globe artichoke, onion, asparagus, wheat, barley, rye, and banana.5 Daily Recommended Amounts of Fiber:

Recommended fiber intakes for Americans are 19-38 grams per day.13 More than 90% of

Americans are below the daily recommended amount.13 The 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee labeled fiber as an under consumed nutrient of public concern.12 Selecting foods that meet recommended fiber intakes is a careful task because of the challenge of meeting the daily servings and choosing foods that provide a higher fiber range in that food group.13 To make a nutrient content claim like excellent source of fiber a product must have 5.0 grams or 20% DV of fiber per serving and to make a claim of good source of fiber the product must contain at least 2.5 grams of fiber or 10% DV per serving.10 Foods that have a good or excellent source of fiber include legumes, foods that have additional bran, and added-fiber ingredients.13 Common barriers to not meeting fiber recommendations are limited understanding and recognition of fibers role in health, confusion about good sources of fiber, content does not guarantee fiber, sensory, attitude, and economic factors.13 Daily Recommended Amounts of Inulin and Limits: Only vegetables and fruits cannot achieve the recommended amount of fiber intake, 36

grams per day.1 Inulin can help with increasing fiber intake but human tolerance to inulin depends on dosage. The average daily intake of inulin in the US is 1 to 4 grams and in Europe its 3 to 11 grams. Individuals can consume 20g/day of inulin and increasing the dose to 30g/day can cause diarrhea. For a bifidogenic effect it is recommended to consume 5-8g/day of inulin.5 Too much inulin can cause fructose malabsorption that leads to symptoms like gas, bloating, cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhea. This condition affects 30-40% of the population and can be lowered by limiting the intake of inulin to 0.5g/meal and increasing intake of glucose and fructose.5 So far there are no toxic, mutagenic, or genotoxic effects of consuming inulin.5

A study was done to see the effects of both chicory inulin and Jerusalem artichoke inulin

in snack bars on intestinal microbiota of healthy human subjects and to evaluate possible gastrointestinal side effects related to consumption. They compared the structure of inulin in raw materials and in processed snack bars to see if there were any changes during processing that influences the properties of the inulin fructans.12 The data showed that there were no differences in the faecal microbial populations, there was a steady increase in bifidobacterial numbers at all sampling times, lower numbers of Bacteroides/Prevotella, and a decrease in the Clostridium coccoides/Eubacterium rectale group.12 With the consumption of inulin snack bars, there was an increase in stool frequency to 9-10 a week and mild to moderate gastrointestinal complaints of flatulence were higher. Evidence shows that heat treatment, like baking, of inulin-type fructans changes the structure of the fructans and forms more low-molecular- weight degraded products.12 Inulin fructans had similar structures before and after processing, dry heating of chicory inulin degraded the fructans, and in vitro fermentation of Jerusalem artichoke with high heat showed improvements for prebiotic effects.12 More research is need to determine the effects of heat and processing on inulin fructans. Health Benefits of Inulin: Inulin is a soluble fiber and soluble fibers are more easily fermentable. Fiber has been divided into two groups: soluble and insoluble. The difference between the non-digestible polysaccharides is their fermentability but both soluble and insoluble fibers can ferment.9 Soluble fiber is hydrophilic, non-crystalline, and easily made wet by the gastrointestinal fluid which forms viscous colloidal dispersions or gels when hydrated.14 When bacteria eats, fermentation takes place and a fermentable fiber, like inulin, is food for the intestinal

probiotics. Probiotics prefer certain fermentables because they relate to their polysaccharide size and enzymes and research links prebiotic fiber to probiotic colonization.9 Fermentable soluble fiber lowers blood pressure, reduces glycemic and insulin response, lowers LDL and lowers colon cancer risk.9 Clinical benefits of dietary fiber were confirmed and include lowered risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, ulcer, stroke, acid reflux, and hemorrhoids.9 Another health benefit of inulin is that it keeps the blood sugar levels stable. The body doesnt break down the inulin into monosaccharides and this prevents the inulin from elevating blood sugar levels.4 Inulin also helps with regulation of appetite.5 Inulin fructans can also affect and regulate appetite by increasing satiety after breakfast and dinner and reducing hunger and food consumption at dinner.6A diet rich in inulin has shown to help maintain a feeling of fullness and satiety long after eating.9 It was found that fermentable prebiotic fibers promote the guts probiotics, and is linked with increases in satiety hormones.9 Short-chain fatty acids that are created by fermentation and activate endothelial cells in the colon to release satiety hormones such as PYY, GLP-1, and GIP. These hormones decrease further eating and decrease hunger hormones like ghrelin.9 Another study showed just the opposite.15 No differences were found in satiety during the morning, food intake at lunch, or over 24 hours.15 Four different functional fibers, one of them being inulin, were incorporated into the chocolate bars at a high dose and all of the fibers produced higher gastrointestinal symptoms than the control bars. All of the fibers did not benefit satiety scales, hunger, or food intake.15 Other benefits of inulin are its ability to stimulate growth of bifidobacteria, help with mineral absorption of iron, calcium, and magnesium, stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce risk

of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.4,5 Inulin aides in the growth of bifidobacteria in the intestines, which was shown in a study that used Jerusalem artichoke inulin and chicory inulin in snack bars.4 The bifidobacteria inhibit pathogens and harmful bacteria, boost the immune system, inhibit procarcinogenic enzyme activity in the body, prevent constipation and synthesize certain vitamins.4 If bifidobacteria increases in number, then the prebiotics impair the production of harmful bacteria like Escherichia coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella enteritidis or Clostridium Perfringens.6 Inulin reduces pathogenic species of bacteria by lowering the pH by producing short chain fatty acids.5,6 Inulin has the ability to improve bowel movements and increased biomass in the colon increases stool weight as bacteria contributes to the mass and water content of the stools. The effect stimulates peristalsis, excretion, stool output, and frequency.6 Inulin helps with calcium and magnesium absorption in the large intestine. Inulin is used by the microflora, the microflora release short-chain fatty acids, these acids alter the pH balance, and this helps with the absorption of calcium and magnesium.4 Research suggests that inulin-type fructans (oligofructose, HP-inulin, and Synergy1) have a positive effect on bone loss caused by oestrogen deficiency.6 All three of these inulin type fructans increased calcium absorption and the highest absorption was seen in the oligofructose-enriched inulin (Synergy1) that combines the short and long fructan chains.6 A study showed that there was a significant calcium absorption (26%) in adolescent boys with an intake of 15g/day of chicory oligofructose for 1 week.6 Physical Influence of Inulin on Snack Bars: Inulin can be extracted from chicory root or synthesized from sucrose to be used by the

industry in processed foods to replace flour, replace sugar and fat, improve texture, taste, or to

get properties like gelling.5 Inulin has a bland neutral taste and it doesnt negatively modify the sensory properties of foods in which it is incorporated. Inulins, and in particular long-chain inulins, are well-known fat replacers owing to their ability to stabilize water into a particle gel network with a fat-like, creamy texture. They provide the same mouth feel as fat. Inulin is also used to improve the stability of foams and emulsions.6 There are many challenges to develop a snack bar in portions that are manageable with

high levels of fiber. Challenges include retention of the fiber contents and the improvement of desired sensory appeal of the finished product after food professing.7 One study examined the effects of added inulin on the physicochemical properties of snack bars. They examined the chemical composition, color, hardness and water activity of the snack bars and evaluated the appearance, nutritional value and shelf life.7 It was found that the snack bars with inulin had more uronic acid (2.34%) than the control (2.30%) but less total phenolics at 0.46mg CtE/g (control had 0.50mg CtE/g).7 Total dietary fiber increased in the snack bars that had inulin at 4.95% total dietary fiber and the control had 2.47%. If a snack bar has 5.29% of dietary fiber, that would equal to a fiber content of 4.5 g per serving if the serving size is 85g per bar and this would allow for a claim of a good source of fiber.7 There was an increase in protein in the inulin containing bars at 3.66% with the control having 1.07%. The added protein held the ingredients together, set the structure, increased strength, contributed to the water-binding, gelation, and Mallard browning.7 Lipid content decreased with the inulin containing bars at 8.73% and the control at 9.85%. The inulin bars had more ash (0.96%) than the control bars at 0.71% and they had a higher moisture content (6.7%) than the control did at 5.6%.7 Moisture in snack bars influences food stability, quality, and physical properties, like shelf life. The bar

processing, inulin, sugars, proteins, and polyphenols induced the chemical changes in the snack bars.7 The sweet syrups added the sweetness to the bars and the lipids provided the lubrication, mouth feel, flavor, and energy. The emulsifiers in the snack bars (monoglycerides, diglycerides, and lecithin) provided the retention of air and leavening gases, promoted crumb structure and modified the dough texture. Hydrocolloids and starches managed the moisture as the bar equilibrated and contributed to the tenderness and mouth feel. The inulin snack bars were found to be much softer than the control when hardness was measured. The inulin bars had a structure that did not hold very well, appeared to be wetter, and had a thinner structure.7 The control bars were more yellow in color than the inulin bars.7 The snack bar base of the inulin bars had additional browning effects because the use of inulin introduced more reducing sugars. The color of the snack bars indicates the quality of formulations and the interactions between the food components in the ingredients. Snack bar processing, which includes moisture transfer, stress formation, heat transfer, is impacted by inulin and can be associated with the structural arrangement of the bar base.7 The addition of inulin was found to significantly influence the snack bars nutritional values, texture, appearance, and composition. In another study, cereal bars made with inulin, oligofructose and gum acacia were

compared to each other by physical effects.8 It was found that inulin contributed more sweetness to the snack bars because it is slightly sweet itself and has no aftertaste.8 Inulin increased the hardness in the bars, had medium crunchiness, and medium chewiness when compared to the others.8 When the bars were made into 100% oligofructose, 100% gum acacia, and 100% inulin, it was found that the oligofructose bar was sticky and very soft, the gum acacia bar was hard and dry, and the inulin bar was hard. For functional uses, blending of the

three fibers was very effective to improve the sensory properties of the snack bars.8 The added inulin influenced more of the texture and appearance of the cereal bar than the aroma and flavor. The study showed that inulin and oligofructose cereal bars were more preferred than the gum acacia because of the crunchiness and chewiness factors. In this study, the addition of inulin also significantly changed the texture, appearance and composition. Conclusion: Snacking is on the rise, is replacing meals, and Americans are not getting the

recommended amounts of fiber in their diet. The recommended amounts of fiber intakes for Americans are 19-38 grams per day and 90% of Americans are below the daily recommended amount. One solution to increase fiber in the diet is to add inulin to snack bars. Inulin is a functional fiber, which means that it provides nutrients, gives energy, sustains growth, maintains vital processes and is functional at some physiological level. Inulin occurs naturally with its main sources from chicory root and Jerusalem artichoke. It is a fermentable prebiotic fiber that resists enzymatic hydrolysis in the human digestive tract and is intact when it arrives in the large intestine. There, it is fermented by the bifodobacteria and used as food. Too much of inulin, 30 grams a day, can cause gastrointestinal discomfort like bloating, cramps, pain, and diarrhea. There are many health benefits to consuming inulin like its ability to stimulate the growth of bifodobacteria, help with mineral absorption of iron, calcium, and magnesium, stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce risk of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Inulin also helps with protecting against gastrointestinal and systemic infection, preventing bacterial

translocation, improving bulk and gut motility, prevention of colonic cancer, and regulation of appetite. Using inulin in snack bars influenced snack bars nutritional values, texture, appearance, and composition. Dietary fiber was increased, texture was soft in one study and hard in another, appeared to have a medium yellow-brown color, thin shape, medium crunchiness, and medium chewiness. The result variations could be because the bars were processed differently and different ingredients were used. But, when compared to the control in both studies, there were significant differences in the nutritional values, texture, appearance, and composition. There are many future applications of inulin in the food industry. Formulated snack bars are made to offer health benefits for those who are missing an ingredient from their diet such as the free-from market of gluten-free, soy-free, and sugar-free.1 Also, people are looking to get their prebiotics in different ways other than supplements, yogurt, or drinks.1 An important area of investigation is into the benets of prebiotics that includes populations that are already subjected to gastrointestinal disease and susceptible to infections.6 Food innovations are either because of customer demand or by the advances of science

and technology.11 Demand exists for plant-based functional foods that improve health and well- being and because plants have diverse nutrient compositions.11 Functional foods are viewed as public health prevention strategies with a reduction of 20% of health-care expenses.11 Consumers prefer to consume functional foods not in pill form but with a pleasant taste, similar in appearance to a conventional food that have validated benefits. In addition, there is a willingness to try foods that will alter moods like an antidepressant, anti-fatigue, and calming properties.11

In children, increased fiber intake is linked to better diet quality and lowers the risk for being overweight or obese.13 One in three children are overweight or obese and undernourished even though they intake excess energy.13 Children are one of the main consumers of snacks which make up 25% of their daily calorie intake.1 Obesity rates have tripled over the last 30 years and the need for healthy snacks with sensory appeal is much needed in the market. Snack bars are usually made for the adult and these snacks are not balanced for a childs body. They have too much protein and a high content of vitamins too much for a child. The excess protein and can lead to dehydration, loss of calcium, and kidney dysfunction.1 A few companies put their focus on creating snack bars for children with good health benefits and sensory appeal. Clif Bar & Company has childrens bars called Clif Kid ZBars that has proper portion size with 12 vitamins and minerals that are usually missing in a childs diet.1 Another company focused on portion sizes for children and sensory appeal called, Can Do Kid. These snack bars have 9 grams of protein and 16 essential vitamins and minerals. There is a big market for snack bars with added inulin for children, everyday consumers, with less ingredients, and less processed.1 Application to Dietary Practice: Registered dietitians and health professionals should be aware of the uses of functional foods because the nutrition field changes all the time. Foods are more than just macro- or micronutrients but are now components that promote health. Dietitians should stay informed, be able to incorporate functional foods like inulin into diets, and educate the client of proper intake.2 Dietitians should help consumers overcome barriers in increasing fiber intakes, help them understand that fiber can help with weight management and has many health benefits,

explain labeling of fiber in products, and explain all types, effects, and sources which includes functional fiber like inulin.13 When choosing a snack bar, there are certain factors that consumers consider: portable, filling, healthy, flavor, and convenience.1 Looking at the grocery stores availability of snack bars with inulin, there are a lot of choices. Most of the snack bars that have a lot of fiber, have a lot of protein as well. Reading the nutrition labels, a few snack bars had chicory root listed as the main ingredient and 5 grams of fiber was the most amount of fiber listed on the boxes. The prices were around $3 for 5 bars, $4 for 5 bars with extra protein and fiber, $5 for 10 bars with 35% DV of fiber. The prices seemed pretty fair and prices increased as the fiber and protein content increased. Snack bars are very popular and those with added fiber and protein are just as popular as the regular snack bars. There were a lot of snack bars in the snack aisle with many different options like cereal bars, breakfast bars, on- the-go, granola, organic, kids options, and there were more snack bars by the pharmacy where the supplements were. It is very easy to see how consumers would be confused on which snack bars are better or right for their needs and that is where a dietitian can help educate the consumer.

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