BENEO is pleased to announce the launch of its first barley beta-glucans ingredient, Orafti® β-Fit. Offering unique health benefits, including positive impacts on heart health and blood sugar management, Orafti® β-Fit is a natural and clean label wholegrain barley flour with 20% beta-glucans. It is a significant extension of the company’s functional fibre product range and is available worldwide. Orafti® β-Fit is on-trend with consumers’ focus on sustainability, with plant-based and wholegrain ingredients being preferred when making food choices. As a more affordable solution in the beta-glucans category, it offers additional value for both manufacturers and consumers alike.
Consumers are increasingly aware of how diet impacts both short and long-term wellbeing and as a result, there is a growing demand for healthier food and beverage options. Even when they are not suffering specific health problems, 7 in 10 (69%) consumers across the globe are interested in products that promote heart health[i]. So, functional ingredients such as barley beta-glucans, with proven health benefits and approved health claims, offer food manufacturers an easy way to create appealing products with convincing front-of-pack communication and a convenient way for consumers to choose nutritional products that positively impact heart health.
Commenting on the launch, Eric Neven, Commercial Managing Director Functional Fibres at BENEO states: “The exciting launch of our new wholegrain and clean label barley flour, Orafti® β-Fit, further demonstrates our expertise and position as a leading provider of functional fibres. With its convincing health benefits and approved health claims while being also an economically attractive solution, Orafti® β-Fit supports our company’s ambition of connecting nutrition and health. We help food manufacturers develop great tasting products that deliver added value in times of tighter consumer budgets.”
Verified Health Benefits of Barley Beta-Glucans
Beta-glucans are viscous and soluble dietary fibres that make the food thicker and therefore delay its passage through the large and small intestines. Their health benefits are backed up by several human intervention studies, but only cereal beta-glucans have approved health claims in Europe and in the US. In fact, beta-glucans from barley contribute to blood sugar management and cardiovascular health. They lower the blood glucose response[ii] and, in both short and long-term, the blood cholesterol levels[iii], which are linked to reduced risk for coronary heart disease. These health effects of cereal beta-glucans have been shown in more than 120 scientific studies and have been recognised by official bodies such as EFSA, the FDA, Health Canada and other national authorities with the approval of corresponding health claims.[iv]
BENEO’s Orafti® β-Fit also allows for fibre enrichment, thus helping to bridge the fibre gap. It can be used in a wide range of applications including baked goods (such as cakes, muffins, bread, and biscuits), pasta, and cereals, as well as meal replacements. It can also positively impact texture by increasing viscosity, e.g., in dairy (alternatives).
In keeping with BENEO’s commitment to sustainable business practices, Orafti® β-Fit is produced with the use of the entire kernel. There is no waste in production and a 100% valorisation of raw material, with no water resources needed.
[i] HealthFocus International 2021
[ii] AbuMweis S, Thandapilly SJ, Storsley J, Ames N (2016). Effect of barley β-glucan on postprandial glycaemic response in the healthy human population: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Functional Foods, Vol. 27, 329-342. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2016.08.057
[iii] AbuMweis SS, Jew S, Ames NP (2010). β-glucan from barley and its lipid-lowering capacity: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 64(12), 1472-1480. https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2010.178
[iv] US: 21 CFR §101.81 ; CAN: Summary of Health Canada’s Assessment of a Health Claim about Barley Products and Blood Cholesterol Lowering, July 2012; EU: Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012; Commission Regulation (EU) No 1048/2012 of 8 November 2012; [EFSA Journal 2009; 7(9):1254; EFSA Journal 2011;9(6):2207; EFSA Journal 2011;9(12):2470)].