NutriLeads BV award-winning prebiotic BeniCaros claims to solve many of these challenges as an ingredient made from upcycle carrot pomace – a byproduct of carrot juice – that research shows can stimulate a broader range of microorganisms in the gut than many other prebiotics and at a much smaller dose.
The result is an ingredient that is easier to formulate in a broad range of products and which more consistently delivers many of the benefits consumers seek from prebiotics but without the irritation, company founder and chief scientific officer Ruud Albers told FoodNavigator-USA.
“BeniCaros is a soluble fiber, but it is not just any fiber – it is a prebiotic. And it is not just any prebiotic – because there are lots of prebiotics out there – but it is a unique prebiotic with a complex structure that stimulates beneficial microorganisms that are present in the gut of everyone,” he said.
He explained that most prebiotics can only feed a select range of microorganisms that are present in varying levels in different people, restricting their benefit or compromising their consistency.
But, he said, BeniCaros, which is enriched with the complex polysacccharide rhamnogalacturonan-I from within the carrot cell wall and extracted using NutriLeads’ proprietary extraction method, “hits a sweet spot” in the gut because it selectively – but not too selectively – stimulates a range of microorganisms that are more consistently present in adults.
Albers explained that BeniCaros’ structure is not so complex that it is fermented by too few microbial communities nor is it so simple that it fermented by too many microbial communities.
The result is more consistent benefits, which can contribute to consumer loyalty when products formulated with BeniCaros deliver on claims.
Indeed, recent research by the company shows that BeniCaros consistently increased the abundance of 30 beneficial bacterial species and significantly increased production of short chain fatty acids that are important to the gut’s health and ability to modulate bodily functions, like the immune system.
The ex vivo study, which also compared BeniCaros to other popular prebiotics, including inulin and xanthan, also found BeniCaros produced less gas than the other two fibers – a problem that turns some consumers away from products formulated with prebiotics.
Small dose, big formulation benefits
“All of these effects we saw at a very low dose of only 300 milligrams per day, which makes it actually possible to give a prebiotic benefit with a dose that is compatible with a dietary supplement format. A daily dose fits, for instance, in a gummy or in a capsule or tablet, which is absolutely impossible with some of the other probiotics where you would need 10-20 grams at least,” he said.
The smaller dose also makes BeniCaros easier to incorporate into other foods and beverages without impacting the ratio of other ingredients or the final products color, taste and texture, Albers added.
Plus, he said, as a polysaccharide, BeniCaros is easily soluble in water – offering another formulation benefit.