Loula Merkel, vice president of business development at Comet Bio, sat down with NutraIngredients-USA’s Danielle Masterson at SupplySide West to explain how the company provides farmers the opportunity to utilize their whole harvest by upcycling non-GMO crops leftovers.
Comet Bio partners with farmers to do a second harvest of leftovers such as wheat straw to extract dietary fibers and sweeteners. Merkel explained this gives farms as well as food and beverage makers an opportunity to reduce waste and improve sustainability.
Merkel also discussed the fibers beneficiary effects and its zero-waste farm-to-table background. Their prebiotic dietary fiber, which is an Arabinoxylan Plant Fiber Extract, promotes gut health and helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels.
With its excellent solubility, stability in solution, Arabinoxylan plant fiber extract offers an easy way for supplement, food, and beverage makers to create delicious products while strengthening their nutrition labels and sustainability claims.
Fiber for a healthy gut microbiome
Arabinoxylan is recognized as a dietary fiber that is found in leaves, stalks, and shells of many plants. The fiber is available in a variety of delivery methods, from powder, to pill form to beverages.
Comet Bio said that if taken 3 grams per day, the fiber can help maintain healthy blood glucose levels and growth of beneﬁcial biﬁdobacteria in the gut.
Opportunity in gut health
Prebiotic supplements have a lot of room to grow. Annual sales in 2018 for probiotics were $2 billion, while prebiotics were at $96.1 million in annual sales, according to Nutrition business Journal.
Merkel told NutraIngredients-USA that although they are often coupled with probiotics, prebiotics are more than capable of standing on their own.
“Prebiotics work whether you take a probiotic supplement or not. So clinical evidence shows that people who consume Arabinoxylan have significant growth in biﬁdobacteria that’s already present...there’s a competition in your microbiome between the good bugs and the bad bugs, the good bugs that are there already need fuel to outcompete the bad bugs, and that’s what a prebiotic does.”
Several recent studies suggest that having a healthy gut microbiome is key to wellness. A recent survey found 70% of US consumers are trying to increase the amount of ﬁber in their diet, and that 88% of Millennials are interested in prebiotic products.