Since the 1980s fructooligosaccharides or FOS are actually doing good things in response to consumer demand for healthier and calorie-reduced foods.
Fructooligosaccharides are short chains of synthetic fructose. The chains end with a blood sugar or glucose unit. Fructooligosaccharides are used as food additives. They are potentially functional fibers, which means they are nondigestible carbohydrates that produce beneficial physiological effects in our bodies. FOS are isolated or extracted from natural plants or animal sources. They are now also manufactured.
FOS are not digested in the small intestines, which means they have only a small calorie value. Not only do they provide bulk in diets, but they are
classified as prebiotics because they stimulate the growth of potentially beneficial Bifidobacteria. Our colon has many helper microorganisms. Bifidobacteria are one of the major groups of helpful bacteria that inhabit the colon of mammals.
FOS do not lead to a rise in serum glucose or stimulate insulin secretion so are ideal additions in diabetic diets. FOS exhibits sweetness levels between 30 and 50 percent of sugar. FOS are associate with a neutral, clean flavor and are used to improve the mouthfeel, of low fat foods. Generally FOS have a sweet, pleasant flavor and are highly soluble. FOS is classified by the FDA as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS).
FOS can be found in fruits and vegetables such as bananas, onions, Jerusalem artichoke, chicory root, garlic, asparagus, barley, wheat, jícama, leeks, dandelion and soybeans. As with other fiber rich foods a feelling of fullness is sometimes accompanied with gas unless fiber has become a normal part of the diet.
Some low calorie chewing gum products contain FOS in the gum itself, the candy-like coating, and sometimes even the soft center.
Here are other applications of FOS:
Dairy and Dairy Products
Soft drinks and Alcoholic Drinks and all type of juices.
FOS can improve the flavor and sweetness of low calorie foods as it improves the texture and feel of fat-reduced foods. FOS provides a combination of sweetness, low calories, and prebiotics as it provides fiber to a healthy diet.
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