Better-For-You Sugar From Nature

Monday, April 6th, 2020

With increasingly busy lifestyles, consumers are looking for convenient food products which can give them energy throughout the day. At the same time, consumers are becoming more aware of the health impact of consuming too much sugar, such as obesity and diabetes, as well as on their dental health. Governments have started putting pressure on food manufacturers to reformulate their products to make them healthier, while consumers are already seeking out healthier products which contain natural ingredients.

With access to appropriate ingredients, manufacturers can develop innovative beverage products that meet consumers’ desire for more energy; Palatinose™, the functional carbohydrate from BENEO, can help to achieve that goal.


The Next Generation Sugar

 Palatinose™ (isomaltulose) is a natural, non-GMO carbohydrate made from sugar beet. It is the only fully digestible and slow release carbohydrate. It is the perfect carbohydrate source for products geared towards those suffering from diabetes and offers a unique alternative to high glycaemic carbohydrates, with all the nutritional and physiological advantages of a fully digestible, slow-release carbohydrate. It provides natural energy in a balanced way, with less blood glucose fluctuation and steadier insulin release. This results in an improved metabolism, helping the body to burn more fat for energy, which makes it an ideal carbohydrate in sports nutrition.


Many energy drinks, for instance, are considered to be unhealthy and contain artificial ingredients, and many health-conscious consumers are now searching for products that are considered more natural and are free from artificial additives. The rapid increase in blood glucose levels followed by a rapid decline – known at the “boost and crash” effect – is a reason why many consumers tend to avoid these products. Palatinose™, owing to its special physiological properties, is suitable for the development of food and beverages that offer a “balanced” energy supply.

Palatinose™ is the only fully digestible carbohydrate with a low glycaemic index (GI=32) that offers a fully available, balanced and prolonged energy supply in the form of glucose. At a concentration of 4 kcal/g, Palatinose provides the same amount of energy as sucrose. However, because of its stable molecular make up, this functional carbohydrate is digested more slowly and delivered in a sustained way to the body’s cells. Palatinose™ is also the first fully digestible sugar that is tooth friendly.

Palatinose™ is a disaccharide and its tooth-friendliness can be attributed to its high microbiological stability. The enzymatic rearrangement of the alpha-1,2 bond between the glucose and the fructose molecule of the raw material sucrose generates a stable alpha-1,6 bond. As this cannot be split by the bacteria in the mouth, no acid is created that could damage the teeth.


Scientifically Proven

A real-life study recently released compared a low glycaemic diet that included Palatinose with a high-glycaemic diet. The study, by Henry et al, shows that participants who followed the low glycaemic profile diet experienced three main improvements: a lower glycaemic profile, reduced variability in blood sugar levels and improved fat burning.

The study results showed that each low glycaemic modulated meal was able to move the participants’ substrate oxidation—the process of generating energy within the cells from food consumed—from carbohydrate oxidation to fat oxidation, thus promoting fat burning and subsequently, over time, weight management.

The benefits can be seen after each meal and the cumulative benefit is even higher thanks to a shift in metabolic set up that is carried over from one meal to the next. Given that high blood sugar levels are a risk factor in the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus, these findings demonstrate how Palatinose™ opens opportunities for consumer products that not only promote blood sugar management, but weight management as well.

Another study, conducted by Professor Daniel König and his team at the Department of Sports and Sport Sciences of the University of Freiburg, Germany, compared the effects of Palatinose™ and maltodextrin, another carbohydrate, on cycling performance. The study deduced that the cyclists who consumed Palatinose™ maintained a more stable blood glucose profile and higher fat oxidation, which resulted in improved cycling performance compared with maltodextrin.

Results gathered from the study highlighted that when the athletes consumed the drink containing Palatinose™ they showed higher fat oxidation rates during the 90-minute endurance trial and performed better in the subsequent sprint test. On average, the athletes finished the time trial an entire minute faster with the drink containing Palatinose™ and were able to pedal more powerfully in the final five minutes of the time trial, compared to the maltodextrin control.  The results also demonstrated that Palatinose™ stabilised the blood glucose profile, with a lower blood glucose rise before exercise, and maintained this level throughout endurance exercise. As a result, a higher fat burning rate and lowered carbohydrate oxidation in energy metabolism were promoted.


Straightforward Processing

Isomaltulose occurs naturally in honey and has similar technological and sensory properties as sucrose. Its molecular structure confers a high level of stability in dairy applications. Because Palatinose™ is heat-resistant, it is also suitable for ultra-high-temperature processing. Moreover, it is resistant to most microorganisms and can also be used in fermented products. Another advantage is that Palatinose™ is not particularly hygroscopic, so it does not tend to absorb moisture from the atmosphere. As such, it is also suitable for the production of instant beverages, does not lump and even remains dry in hot and humid environments.


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