The story in the probiotic realm has become the bifidogenic power of the ingredients, in other words, their ability to foster the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Many marketers of prebiotic ingredients are reemphasizing this proven benefit of the ingredients at the moment while the implications of FDA’s stance on dietary fiber are worked out.
Mark Thurston, president of AIDP, said in an interview with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent Expo West trade show in Anaheim, CA that xylooligosaccharides are fairly new to the US market. “They were not really allowed to be used in the US market until about three years ago,” Thurston said.
AIDP first brought the ingredient to market in 2015 via a partnership with Chinese company Life Bridge International. The ingredient, which is derived from corn cobs and is available in both conventional and organic versions, had a long history of success in Asian markets.
The ingredient is differentiated from its competitors in the functional carbohydrate space by its specific form and the evidence of efficaciousness specific to the xylooligosaccharide, or XOS form, Edward Lee, president of AIDP, said at the time of the ingredient’s launch into the US market.
XOS is among a group of carbohydrates called xylans that are common constituents of plant cell walls and are based on xylose, a pentose sugar. Lee said research has shown that XOS resists digestion until it is fermented in the colon, where it strongly fosters the growth of bifidobacteria, one of the main groups of beneficial bacteria in the human gut.
“There is already a published study by UCLA that is an in vitro study as to what friendly bacteria can be proliferated by XOS. It shows at what concentrations and different levels the different bacteria proliferate. It shows that XOS can pretty much proliferate all the bifidobacterium species, and that’s more than 30 species,” he said.
Thurston said that work at UCLA established the effective dose for this bifidogenic effect at one gram, a dose size that puts the fiber question in the background right from the start. “That allows it to be included in a wide variety of formulations including with probiotics as a synbiotic,”he said.