Enriching ingredient solutions to support digestive wellness
Digestive health is a mainstream need, not just for people managing health problems such as inadequate digestion, nutrient absorption, defecation issues, damaged intestinal barriers and leaky gut problems. Choosing food and beverages that reduce symptoms and alleviate discomfort is incredibly important. Even for consumers lucky enough to not experience these issues, promoting gut health is top-of-mind.
Furthermore, a growing body of scientific research suggests that a healthy gut microbiome is closely linked to overall well-being, with implications for immune health, weight management,3 metabolic health,4 and overall health4 — meaning it’s up to food and beverage brands to deliver the digestive health benefits consumers seek.
Want to find an effective way to increase your growth in the digestive health market? Our solutions for dietary fiber, prebiotics and early life digestive health bring digestive health benefits to yogurts, baked goods, beverages, smoothies, bars, snacks, soups, ready meals and more.
Review our ingredients and some common digestive health questions below, and then contact our experts for help in identifying a solution that’s right for your product. Together, we can find new ways to strengthen your brand in the health space and create value for consumers who want to optimize their digestive health and fiber intake.
With today’s standard diet, it can be a real challenge to meet recommended nutritional needs. There is global recognition that most individual diets fall short, and increased fiber intake is beneficial. For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends adults consume 28 grams of dietary fiber per day, even as the average intake for U.S. adults aged 20 years and over is just 16.9 grams per day.5
Through Ingredion's holistic formulation approach and by using the right specialty fibers, starches and nutrient-rich, plant-based ingredients, our developers can help you improve the gut-health aspects of products without sacrificing taste and texture.
Necessary for appropriate digestion, nutrient absorption and defecation, our digestive health and fiber enrichment ingredients promote function of the digestive barrier and a healthy microbiome. Our full digestive health ingredient portfolio includes prebiotics (scFOS, GOS), soluble and insoluble fibers and low-FODMAP ingredients from different raw material sources.
Prebiotics such as scFOS fibers and GOS fibers are important for increasing levels of good bacteria in the gut and promoting digestive function. In fact, product launches that claim prebiotic ingredients have risen 10% in the past five years.6
Add sweetness and support healthy digestion with gentle prebiotic activity, starting at 5 grams per day.
These versatile, clean-tasting and resistant starches offer high digestive tolerance and minimal sensory impact to help you differentiate products with higher fiber content and consumer-friendly claims.
Replace refined or whole wheat flour on a one-to-one basis in a wide range of recipes.
FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) can trigger occasional digestive discomfort. Ingredion’s Monash University Certified Low-FODMAP ingredients can reduce these issues while delivering just-right taste and texture in fiber-rich foods.7
Learn about how our innovative fiber ingredients, including scFOS prebiotic fibers, resistant starches (types 2 and 4) and GOS can provide your consumers with digestive health benefits and help them meet their daily fiber goals.
Formulating snacks with a fiber focus can have a positive impact on your brand growth and appeal. Learn more consumer insights and healthy snacking trends from Ingredion experts.
Gut health is often described by a combination of characteristics including appropriate digestion, nutrient absorption, defecation, adequately functioning intestinal barrier and a healthy gut microbiome. High-fiber diets have been linked to gut health. Dietary fibers are a group of non-digestible carbohydrates that can reach to the gut, which helps maintain bowel movements and a regular stool frequency. Certain fiber types, such as scFOS and GOS, promote calcium absorption. In addition, fibers such as resistant starch, gums, pectins, scFOS and GOS can nourish the gut microbiota as their main energy sources to expand population and form a healthy ecosystem. Studies have shown that short-chain fatty acids that are byproducts of fiber fermentation may enhance the intestinal barrier, which is critical to maintaining appropriate nutrient absorption and defending pathogenic molecules and bacteria.
A “leaky gut,” characterized by loose gaps in the intestinal walls, is usually caused by a disruption to the gut microbiome (dysbiosis) and impaired tight junctions which restrict the intestinal permeability. Dietary fibers such as inulin, resistant starch, gums, pectins, scFOS and GOS can nourish the beneficial gut microbiota and promote the release of short-chain fatty acids. Butyrate, one of the short-chain fatty acids, consistently showed benefits of improving tight junctions in various studies. Foods including fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains are generally good sources of dietary fibers. However, note that patients with gastrointestinal sensitivities such as irritable bowel syndrome should reduce high-FODMAP foods to avoid side effects such as bloating and flatulence7.
Overall, fruits, vegetables, legumes, cultured dairy products and whole grains that are high in fiber are best in promoting the beneficial gut microbiota and maintaining a functional intestinal barrier. Fully cooked foods are more easily broken apart, and thus, more digestible.
Certain fibers such as inulin, resistant starch, gums, pectins, scFOS and GOS can nourish the “good” gut microbiota and be metabolized by them into short-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids play an important role in maintaining the intestinal barrier, the intactness of which enables a proper digestion of food and absorption of nutrients and water.
Our portfolio of science-backed solutions for enhancing nutrition, delivering health benefits and enabling wellness lifestyle choices is designed for manufacturers and brands looking to deliver winning consumer products.
Whether you’re trying to simplify labels, ensure products are delicious or help consumers make healthier choices, Ingredion has the ingredients and expertise to help.
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1Ingredion Proprietary Research, Digestive Health Study (U.S.), 2021
2Innova Trends Survey, 2021
3Collins, Stephen M., Michael Surette, and Premysl Bercik. "The interplay between the intestinal microbiota and the brain." Nature Reviews Microbiology 10.11 (2012): 735-742.
4Cani, Patrice D. "Gut microbiota—at the intersection of everything?" Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology 14.6 (2017): 321-322.
5USDA; GTC Nutrition Data; What We Eat in America, NHANES 2017-2018.
6Innova Market Insights (CAGR 2017-2022).
7Only products that have formally applied to Monash University’s Low FODMAP certification program may claim to be Monash Low-FODMAP Certified. The application process to Monash University includes undergoing lab analysis to confirm FODMAP compliance. Monash University Low FODMAP Certified Trademarks are used under license in the United States by Ingredion Incorporated. The information described above is offered solely for your consideration, investigation and independent verification. It is up to you to decide whether and how to use this information. Ingredion Incorporated and the Ingredion group of companies make no warranty about the accuracy or completeness of the information contained above or the suitability of any of their products for your specific intended use. Furthermore, all express or implied warranties of noninfringement, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose are hereby disclaimed. Ingredion Incorporated and the Ingredion group of companies assume no responsibility for any liability or damages arising out of or relating to the foregoing.