Chicory root fiber, otherwise known as chicory fiber extract, is an all-natural, non-GMO, clean-label prebiotic fiber extracted from the roots of the chicory plant.
Chicory roots are a natural source of inulin. The prebiotic effect of inulin or the shorter chain oligofructose is well-researched and offer a host of nutritional and functional benefits by promoting a healthy digestive system and improved immune function.
Our chicory fiber plant-based extracts are truly multifunctional. Chicory fiber is low caloric and can help reduce sugar and fat. Chicory root fiber can provide textural benefits as well as various nutritional benefits for the health-conscious consumer.
We offer a range of chicory root fiber ingredients with various functionalities:
Chicory roots are a natural source of dietary fiber with unique prebiotic benefits. Prebiotic fiber is a type of dietary fiber that serves as food for beneficial probiotic bacteria living in the gut. Non-digestible prebiotic fibers pass through the digestive system intact and reach the colon, where beneficial probiotic bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria, ferment the fiber source.
Studies have demonstrated the positive effects of chicory root fiber on the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria in the digestive system. These probiotic bacteria have been shown to produce a range of short chain fatty acids which lower the pH of the digestive system and help ward off pathogenic bacteria. Chicory fiber helps improve digestive and immune functions.
Food manufacturers can leverage the health benefits of fiber by incorporating inulin and oligofructose into foods. The chicory root fiber extracts are low caloric and can help replace both sugar and fat. In addition, chicory root fiber is a recognized dietary fiber and can support nutrient content claims such as a good or excellent source of fiber.
Sugar plays an important role in food formulations, improving taste, color, sweetness, and flavor while providing a bulking effect, impacting mouthfeel and texture.
Chicory root fiber, such as inulin or oligofructose, has masking flavor benefits that help balance the flavor profile, especially with high-intensity sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit. Furthermore, the product has half the caloric value of sugar, allowing formulators to make less energy-dense foods.
Chicory root fiber is a versatile solution for sugar reduction. It is ideal for use in various products like dairy, bakery, and more. It is highly soluble, helping improve taste and texture in foods with sweetness value of 30% that of sugar.
As our eating habits and lifestyles continue to evolve, diet-related diseases like obesity, impaired glucose tolerance, and diabetes have emerged as significant health challenges. Recognizing this growing concern, the World Health Organization (WHO) now strongly advocates reducing sugar consumption to less than 10% of total energy intake and, ideally, less than 5% for improved health.
Consumers worldwide are becoming increasingly conscious of their sugar intake. Several surveys have revealed that sugar has eclipsed calories and fat as the primary dietary concern or consumers shopping for healthy foods. According to IFIC's 2022 survey, 73% of consumers said they were trying to limit or avoid sugars in their diet.
While consumer opinion towards sugar has changed, many remain unaware of the pervasive presence of "added sugar" in everyday products like yogurts, sauces, granolas, cereals, and more, contributing to a threefold increase in global sugar consumption over the past five decades.
By reducing sugar content and substituting it with non-digestible fiber, like inulin from chicory root, manufacturers have the opportunity to create food and beverage products that are both indulgent and healthier, with a reduced impact on blood glucose levels. This presents a significant opportunity for innovation and growth in the industry.