Product Profiles: Lonza, Inc.

FiberAid™ is a larch arabinogalactan (LAG)-based, premium, soluble prebiotic fiber, manufactured by the Swiss life-science company, Lonza. FiberAid™ prebiotic offers superior benefits for gastrointestinal health combined with excellent digestive tolerance and technological properties.

An all-natural, multifunctional dietary prebiotic fiber, FiberAid™ is self-affirmed GRAS by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other authorities. It is extracted by Lonza from larch trees that grow in abundance in the United States via a patented process (US 5756098, EP 866808 and other patents). This procedure is unique as it does not require any harsh chemicals to release the polysaccharide from the plant matrix. Therefore, the product remains pure and structurally unaltered.

Results from human and in vitro studies indicate that FiberAid™ prebiotic ingestion enhances gut microflora significantly by specifically increasing anaerobes such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. The intestinal microflora comprises various microbial species that are mostly bacterial and are influenced by the diet.

The addition of FiberAid™ to the diet can deliver prebiotic benefits. In addition to increased prebiotic effects, FiberAid™ was also reported to increase short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the gut. These acids lower the colon pH and create an environment favoring the development of beneficial bacteria.

The majority of the strictly anaerobic bacteria in the large intestine derive their energy from fermentation of carbohydrates, which results in the production of volatile SCFAs. Acetate, propionate and butyrate are the major SCFAs produced by friendly gut microflora. They can stimulate salt and water absorption in the gut and are important metabolites of intermediary metabolism in the colonic epithelium. Acetate and propionate are reported to be taken up from the gut to provide energy for the brain, muscle and heart, while butyrate provides about 50% of the daily requirements of the gastrointestinal mucosa.

High levels of ammonia in the large intestine appear to contribute to detrimental health conditions. FiberAid™ has been shown to decrease the generation and absorption of ammonia in the gut. The deamination of amino acids by the microflora is reported to be the major contributor to ammonia levels in the large intestine.

The gastrointestinal benefits of FiberAid™ are provided without the typical side effects, such as gas and bloating, that are commonly associated with other dietary fiber ingredients. Due to its highly branched structure, FiberAid™ is slowly fermented and was shown to have a high digestive tolerance at dosages up to 15 g/day, whereas effective dosages are already achieved at 4.5 g/day.

FiberAid™ is a low-calorie additive (1.4 kcal/g) and is reported to have no glycemic response. It has a number of technical properties which make it unique as a food ingredient; it is a dry, free-flowing powder. It can be taken in standalone form or combined with other products to increase functionality.

As FiberAid™ has a highly branched structure it is freely soluble, dissolving completely in hot or cold water. It is stable at a wide range of temperatures and pH, which provides for use in various applications. In beverages, it keeps its functionality and neither degrades nor hydrolyzes.

Along with its high solubility, FiberAid™ provides very little sensory impact, offering minimal mouthfeel and viscosity. Testing has also shown that it has a minimal aftertaste.

FiberAid™ can be easily formulated into food and beverage systems. It retains moisture in baked goods and has improved dough-handling characteristics. It helps to contribute to a finer, more uniform grain and can improve the taste and aroma of baked goods, such as tortillas. Also, FiberAid™ is effective in lowering water activity in sweetener compositions. It provides film-forming properties for extended shelf life and tack-on aid.

Lonza is committed to developing ingredients that are based upon scientific evidence. The result is that FiberAid™ is of the highest quality and brings distinct benefits to formulators and, ultimately, consumers. Products carrying the FiberAid™ quality seal on the packaging show the consumer that they contain the premium prebiotic fiber from Lonza.


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2010