Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, May 2018

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■ NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK 44 Prebiotics MAY 2018 catechin polyphenols found in fruits, vegeta- bles, red wine, and green tea, Lukawski says it's time for these compounds to "move over, as here comes cranberry, and it's showing prebiotic benef ts in the gut." To wit, a Sabinsa-sponsored study 2 pub- lished in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology compared the pre- biotic ef ect of Fruit d'Or's proprietary Cran Naturelle cranberry seed powder versus FOS f ber on Sabinsa's L-(+)-lactic acid–produc- ing Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 probiotic preparation, marketed as LactoSpore. T e study's results showed an increase in the viable B. coagulans MTCC 5856 count when the cranberry seed powder served as the sole nutrition source—demonstrating that the bacteria can actually ferment it. Ad- ditionally, under anaerobic conditions the cranberry seed powder inhibited growth of undesirable E. coli ATCC 25922 while sup- porting B. coagulans MTCC 5856 growth— suggesting that it contributes to a gastrointes- tinal environment favorable to the healthful probiotic. Finally, in vitro gastric acid and pancreatic enzyme digestibility tests showed that the cranberry seed powder resists gastric acid even better than FOS, though its non- digestibility to pancreatic enzymes equaled that of FOS, the companies say. "It seems that the cranberry seed acts as a natural food source," Lukawski says. And it's not unreasonable to suspect that it would do so. T e powder contains 20%-25% pure protein, 50% f ber, and, Lukawski continues, "all the essential amino acids. It's also stan- dardized to contain a minimum of 3% insol- uble proanthocyanidin content. It seems to be the fuel the probiotics need to feed from, as it provides the carbon, nitrogen, and ami- no acids necessary to stimulate the strain's hardiness and growth." No wonder he calls the powder "a superfood for various probi- otic strains." Cranberry Caveats Along with previously published literature, this new study, Majeed says, "is encouraging and certainly expands the concept of pre- biotics beyond non-digestible oligosaccha- rides to include polyphenols as attractive al- ternatives." It also adds to a body of evidence suggesting that polyphenols' health benef ts are based on their microbial use—and on the metabolites thus produced—rather than on the parent molecules themselves. "However," Majeed concedes, "in com- parison to oligosaccharides, the number of studies done on polyphenols is limited and, hence, more research is needed to ascer- tain their prebiotic potential." So product developers and ingredient suppliers should exercise the usual caution when promoting polyphenols as prebiotics. "Like any other synbiotic preparation," Majeed says, "products including polyphe- nols as a prebiotic source would require the same level of checklist for the formulators to follow." T at means clean-labels demands still apply, "and when it comes to claims and use levels, companies should have enough research data to back those levels and claims," he says. "More importantly, formula- tors should design products that meet cus- tomers' expectations in delivery format, ease of delivery, benef ts, and more." To Market, To Market Some are already doing just that—starting with Sabinsa. Its LactoCran is a synbiotic preparation combining LactoSpore with Fruit d'Or's Cran Naturelle cranberry seed powder, and Majeed believes it's "well po- sitioned to break through in the synbiotic market." Lukawski is also bullish on the prospects for the cranberry juice that his own com- pany launched. Called Sun Cran Naturelle, it combines Fruit d'Or's cranberry polyphe- nols with Taiyo International's (Minneapolis) galactomannan-based guar f ber ingredient, marketed as Sunf ber. "When combined with the cranberry juice," Lukawski says, "we're now able to deliver a dual-function product for sup- port of a healthy urinary tract and gut health. No one has ever done this combination, and we're the f rst to market." A study exploring its anti-adhesion properties is underway at Rut- gers University, Lukawski adds, with results expected "sometime in April." Finally, he mentions a collaboration be- tween his company and the International Ag- riculture Group (Mooresville, NC)—producers of NuBana, a resistant starch extracted from green bananas. "Green banana is a natural prebiotic f ber with scientif cally proven bene- f ts surrounding its resistant starch," Lukawski says. "When formulated with our cranberry seed powder, it becomes a superfood prebi- otic that provides a combination of protein, f ber, and amino acids." Sabinsa is even combining its B. coagu- lans probiotics with the cranberry-banana ingredient to create what Lukawski calls "a LactoCranBana brand that's ideal for use in nutrition bars, yogurts, smoothies, shakes, and other dairy products." He anticipates its availability in early summer. With all this to look forward to, it's no wonder Lukawski is "excited for the future of the prebiotic opportunities for polyphenols," he says. "When combining polyphenol prebi- otics with probiotics, we're entering a whole new space and category." References 1. FDA Draft Guidance. "Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and T eir Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration." www.fda.gov/down- loads/RegulatoryInformation/Guidances/ UCM145405.pdf. December 2006. 2. Majeed M et al., "Cranberry seed f bre: a promising prebiotic f bre and its fermen- tation by the probiotic Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856," International Journal of Food Science and Technology. Published online February 17, 2018. Kimberly J. Decker writes for the food and nutrition industries from her base in the San Francisco area, where she enjoys eating food as much as she does writing about it. "In comparison to oligosaccharides, the number of studies done on polyphenols is limited and, hence, more research is needed to ascertain their prebiotic potential," says Sabinsa's Shaheen Majeed.

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