In recent years, gut health has grabbed the spotlight as the key to digestive comfort, better immunity, improved mood and a number of other benefits. 

A better understanding of gut and microbiome metabolism has opened the door to a growing number of ingredients that target and nourish the beneficial microorganisms in the gut. These ingredients include prebiotic ingredients that feed the microbiome.

The most recent definition of prebiotics is from the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP), which describes them “substrates that are selectively utilised by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit.” Most prebiotics are forms of soluble fiber found naturally in certain fruits, vegetables and plants that have been extracted and purified.

The soluble fibers that comprise prebiotics are non-cellulose compounds that cannot be digested by enzymes secreted in the human small intestine. Instead, they travel intact into the large intestine, where they are broken down through fermentation by gut bacteria into various beneficial byproducts. These include short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate and acetate, bioactive substances that kill harmful microorganisms and bulk that promotes laxation.

Prebiotic ingredients support the growth of beneficial gut microbes, particularly various strains of bifidobacteria.

Growing demand for immunity-boosting ingredients

According to the Innova new products database, the number of food and beverage launches with prebiotic ingredients has grown by 10% to Q3 2022(1). Europe leads with 40% of these launches, with Asia and North America following a similar growth direction with 25% and 15% of launches respectively.

Innova: Region as a percentage (%) of global food & beverage (including supplements) launches tracked with prebiotic ingredients (Q4/2021 – Q3/2022).

Immunity-boosting ingredients will play a significant role for the coming years and prebiotics is in a good position to continue growing. Their report(2) shows that most consumers understand the connection between choosing probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics, and a healthier gut and easier digestion.

At Bakels, much NPD around the Group is driven by a rising demand for health-focused products. A good example of this comes from Bakels Sweden, with the launch of Multiseed Prebiotic.

Developed with all the qualities of The Original and Still the Best Multiseed Concentrate, a leading ingredient in markets such as the United Kingdom, South Africa, Philippines and New Zealand, our colleagues at Bakels Sweden have introduced Multiseed Prebiotic. Rich in fibre and minerals and packed with sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, oats and rye flour, the concentrate also contains the added benefits of chicory root, which improves digestive health and balances intestinal flora.

Recipe: Multiseed Prebiotic Tin Bread

Discover healthy products in your market

Data: (1) Innova Product Database. (2) Innova Market Insights (2021) ”Good for the gut: Probiotics, Prebiotics, Postbiotics.”