Food & Beverage Asia Feb/Mar 19

INGREDIENTS 24 FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2019 Not All Beta Glucans Are Created Equal I ncreasing numbers of consumers are seeking products that deliver immune health support. In fact, this is now the second-most desired health benefit, after only general health and wellbeing according to a 2015 GlobalData global consumer survey. As a result of this trend, awareness of beta glucans and their ability to support immune health has risen. However, with many different types of beta glucans available, there is a great deal of confusion and uncertainty for manufacturers when selecting the best ingredient. The Lowdown on Beta Glucans Beta glucans are naturally occurring fibres found in the cell walls of foods such as common baker’s yeast, many types of mushrooms, and cereal grains such as barley, oats, rye and wheat. The human body does not produce its own fibre, so beta glucans are obtained by consuming these sources. To obtain the benefits associated with beta glucans, such as immune health support, they are often extracted from their source material and added to functional foods, beverages and supplements. The source, strain and structure of the beta glucan determines its activity in the body and the benefits that the specific beta glucan provides. Accordingly, different benefits are associated with different sources of beta glucans. Furthermore, in the case of delivering immune health benefits, not all beta glucans are created equal. Mr. Don Cox, R&D Director for Wellmune ® at Kerry, offers a guide to choosing the right beta glucan for your immune health products. Photos Credit: Kerry