Healthy reformulation with fibre

Non-communicable diseases such as obesity and type II diabetes are on the rise. A healthy diet, incorporating more good fats and lowering sugar intake, can help prevent these diseases. The challenge for food manufacturers is to make their products healthier without losing taste. We talked to Hendrik Gunawan from PT. Lautan Natural Krimerindo to find out more about the possibilities of reformulation with dietary fibre to create healthy food and beverages.

Hendrik Gunawan


What are the main challenges around removing certain ingredients, such as fat, from food?
The main challenge is to provide delicious foods while keep them healthy. Not only by the removal of certain ingredients, also by adding some specific ingredients for a healthier lifestyle. For example, without reducing fat but increasing fibre intake we can support a healthier lifestyle. Before, people were highly concerned about fats. But based on the latest and most up to date studies, the main problem come from sugar. Even now, a good fat will give a healthy benefit to the body such as increasing the softness of our skin, hormone growth, etc. Therefore, the combination of good fats and good fibre actually can have a good impact on our body.

Is it more challenging for foods or beverages?
For foods, because there are a lot of food variations. Asian countries are more used to spicy food. Middle-eastern countries are more to sweet, creamy foods seasoned with herbs food. And so on. Due to this wide range of variety and complexity, we need to have a multi-purpose ingredient, which is applicable in most of the foods.

What role can dietary fibre play in helping to reduce fat?
Natural fibres have a high water holding capacity and absorb organic molecules. By consuming fibre, hypothetically the bad fats will be absorbed by fibre and turned it into feces. This serves a prebiotic function in our gut microbiota, which plays an important role for human metabolism. Carbohydrate in fibre has a longer satiety affect than normal carbohydrate. For long-term purposes, it can help to reduce obesity which is a big health issue in America, Asia, etc.

Will fibre have an impact on the overall taste and texture of a product?
That’s the main challenge. How to formulate good taste and texture in food & beverages with a healthy function. The main concept will be “Delicious Can Be Healthy”. With the latest technology, fibre can be developed to be a good ingredient for our palate. We can find a fibre with good function and good tolerance dosage for human consumption. Soluble dietary fibre is better than insoluble fibre. The former has a wider range of usage. Fibre cannot play its role as the sole ingredients. It must be combined with another ingredient to enhance the taste. Fibre can perform its healthy function, and provide a better taste.

Obesity and other non-communicable diseases are on the rise. Do you think the food industry should be doing more to help prevent them?
Definitely yes. It’s better to prevent rather than to cure. These days non-degenerative disease are increasing rapidly due to food consumption, lifestyle, and environment pollution. We as a food industry need to think about developing good functional foods for people. Better food for a healthier lifestyle.

What are your predictions for the industry in the next 3-5 years?
Healthy lifestyle will lead the industry. In the developed countries, people’s awareness of healthy food is relatively high. Most people try to consume healthy products. Trends are shifting from “Consume for satiety” to “Consume for a healthy lifestyle”. Increase in income will lead to an increase in the number of people leading a healthy lifestyle.

Don’t miss Hendrik Gunawan’s presentation ‘Reformulating with dietary fibre and good fats to create nutritious and tasty food’ at the Fi Europe 2017 Conference during the session on Reduction & Reformulation on Thursday, 30th November 2017 at 10:50 -14:00.