The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland developed and patented the technology and has licensed it to Fazer for use in Europe and Russia.
Heli Arantola, senior VP of strategy and business development for Fazer’s Mill & Mixes business, said combining this technology with high-quality Finnish oats was an asset for these markets.
“We wanted to increase the degree to which oats are processed and develop new products, particularly for food industry applications. We have invested in a process which allows us to separate valuable and sought-after ingredients – such as oat beta-glucan, protein and oat oil – from raw oats. We are talking about a significant new production line that increases the use and value of Finnish oats,” she said.
“…These new oat products can be used in, for example, functional foods such as heart-healthy snack bars, biscuits, breads and dairy products. The need for protein, especially plant protein, is growing – up to a point where we can even talk about a protein boom with regard to some foodstuffs.”
EFSA health claims
Markku Mikkola, R&D manager for Fazer Mills & Mixes, said the oat ingredients were easy to use in a number of products and appealed because of European approved health claims around oats.
There are four approved health claims on oats in the EU:
- Beta-glucan in oats helps maintain normal blood cholesterol levels
- Consuming beta-glucan in oats as part of a meal helps to limit the increase in blood glucose levels after the meal and evens out major fluctuations in blood sugar levels
- The beta-glucan in oats reduces blood cholesterol, which in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- The fiber in oat grains promotes digestion – oats increase the amount of mass passing through the digestive system, thereby facilitating intestinal movement. Good digestion maintains health and helps prevent digestive diseases