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Sugars are the main fuel of our cells and an essential nutrient in the daily diet. The widespread distribution of industrial refined foods however, has led to abuse of this category of ingredients, consequently increasing the risk of pathologies such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends limiting sugar intake to no more than 25 grams a day, equal to approximately 6 teaspoons. Specifically, in order to moderate consumption, it is recommended to pay attention to so-called hidden sugars, that is, those that are not a natural components of foods, but are added to industrial products to improve their sensory and rheological features.
The greater attention and awareness of consumers with regard to their dietary choices has resulted in a growing demand for products with low content of sugars, fats and other synthetic origin ingredients, such as additives and preservatives. This market trend, referred to as clean label, is especially significant in the sector of supplements and functional foods: nutraceutical formulators have to deal with the complex challenge of replacing ingredients such as sugars with new and safe ingredients that also assure high performances from the technological point of view.
To meet the demand for natural products with low sugar content and free of additives, the Italian company Hi-Food has developed a new ingredient that is able to combine nature and technology. MELTEC® is an innovative product based on fluid fibres, able to replace sugar and syrups in liquid supplements and functional foods with low calorie content.
Obtained from substances of natural origin, such as chickpea and corn derivatives, through an innovative production process – already patented in Italy and now international patent-pending – MELTEC® features a high fibre content (66%) and a quantity of sugars lower than 1%. These properties allow the ingredient to be used in a number of nutraceutical applications also intended for more sensitive population groups, such as children and the elderly, with the aim of reducing caloric intake and promoting intestinal well-being.
MELTEC® looks like honey and glucose syrup, but has neutral flavour and odour. Its particular viscous texture, due to its fibrous origin, lends to MELTEC® excellent texturing, binding, humectant and volumising properties.
Produced in Italy from natural sources, MELTEC® is free from allergens, clean label and GMO free; it is also suitable for a vegan diet. In the field of nutraceuticals, this ingredient is used in liquid formulations, such as syrups and single-dose sticks, and functional foods, such as diet bars and weight-control products.