Beneo introduces barley beta-glucans for heart health

By Olivia Haslam

- Last updated on GMT

Beneo - Barley Ears / Elena Koromyslova_shutterstock
Beneo - Barley Ears / Elena Koromyslova_shutterstock

Related tags Beta glucan Immune health Heart health cardiovascular health Barley beta glucan Probiotics microbiome

Beneo, the producer of functional fibre ingredients, has announced the launch of its first barley beta-glucans ingredient, Orafti β-Fit, for heart health.

The company has introduced the new wholegrain barley flour ingredient with 20% beta-glucans, designed to appeal to consumers looking for positive impacts on heart health and blood sugar.

Orafti β-Fit will be joining the company’s functional fibre product range which currently contains Inulin​ and Oligofructose​ ingredients, and will be accessible worldwide. 

The flour can be used daily, designed to be added to common foods people regularly consume, such as breakfast cereals, bread, baked goods, dairy alternatives, and pasta. 

Beneo states that its versatility is due to its solubility, clean taste, neutral colour, thickening properties, and stable pH.

Reportedly, people can lower cholesterol levels by consuming 3g of beta-glucans every day​, which is achieved by consuming 15 grams of Orafti β-Fit. 

Beta-glucans​ 

Beta-glucans, viscous and soluble dietary fibres, thicken food, delaying its passage through the large and small intestines. 

They are polysaccharides composed of glucose molecules, linked together with mixed β (1-4) and β (1-3) bonds. 

Several studies​ have reported the health benefits of barley beta-glucans, in particular showing that beta-glucans from barley contribute to blood sugar management and cardiovascular health. 

They have been proven to lower the blood glucose response​ and, in both short and long-term, blood cholesterol levels,​ both of which are linked to reduced risk for coronary heart disease. 

Additionally, beta-glucans act as prebiotics,​ serving as a source of nourishment for beneficial gut bacteria.

The cereal beta-glucans have approved health claims​ in Europe and the US, recognised by official bodies EFSA and the FDA. 

Growing consumer demand

The rising consumer awareness regarding the relationship between diet and overall well-being has led to an increased demand for healthier food and beverage choices.

The supplier argues consumers are more informed and conscious about their personal health and nutrition, with 7 in 10 (69%) consumers across the globe reportedly interested in products that promote heart health​. 

This shift in consumer behaviour suggests a desire for personal well-being and a consciousness regarding cardiovascular disease. 

Currently, cardiovascular disease causes​ around 3.9 million deaths in Europe a year and accounts for 45% of all deaths in Europe. 

Sustainability and viability

The decision by Beneo to produce Orafti β-Fit using the entire barley kernel is a strategic approach that encompasses both financial and sustainable considerations.

Utilising the entire barley kernel maximises resource efficiency, as well as minimising waste, according to the firm.

The flour is produced using an "eco-friendly milling and dry enrichment process”, meaning there are no water resources needed for its production, Beneo communicates. 

It reflects a proactive approach toward mitigating water scarcity concerns and minimising the ecological footprint of the manufacturing process.

Beneo also communicates that their products aim to “inspire consumers to make positive food choices by investing in R&D on plant-based products​.”

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