Conference Proceedings - Fibre: the rough with the smooth

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October 2017

This interactive event brought together a panel of experts who explored various regulatory, health and food formulation issues relating to fibre in our diet.  It is easy to forget that the term ‘dietary fibre’ today applies to a somewhat heterogeneous assortment of indigestible carbohydrates, from many different sources, with varying characteristics, functionalities and physiological effects.

This event took up the following challenges:

  • Defining fibre
  • Regulatory issues/ claims
  • Dietary value of different forms of fibre
  • Formulating fibre into foods

Presentations & Speaker Biographies

Jennifer Arthur, Leatherhead Food Research

Jenny has an MSc in Public Health Nutrition and a degree in Marketing and has worked for a range of private sector companies including Marks and Spencer where she worked as their Health and Wellbeing Marketer before becoming the Company Nutritionist. Jenny joined Leatherhead in 2014 and heads up the Nutrition and Product Development teams working with clients to help solve complex problems.

The evolution of defining fibre
Jenny looked at the different methods of fibre analysis, the regulatory implications and the effect on calories.

Lindsey Bagley, Eureka

Lindsey Bagley has a career in product formulation and process development for the food and healthcare industries. She has helped launch over 400 retail products, 30 new ingredients and contributed to over 20 patents. She has been an independent consultant for over 25 years.

Formulating foods and drinks with fibre
Lindsey explored the product development challenges of formulating high fibre foods with minimal impact on product quality. Fibre selection for best results in various food categories will be discussed along with impact on sensory, processing and shelf life issues.

Kate Halliwell, Food and Drink Federation (FDF)

Kate graduated from the University of Oxford with an MSc in Biochemistry and from the University of Surrey with and MSc in Nutritional Medicine.  She previously worked for the Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on a range of nutrition policies, including nutrition labelling, nutrient profiling and healthier catering advice.  She moved to the FDF in 2011, where she has responsibility for the development, implementation and promotion of FDF’s nutrition and health and wellbeing policies, ensuring they are under pinned by science.

Denise Robertson, PhD, Reader in Nutritional Physiology, University of Surrey

Denise Robertson has a PhD in Clinical Nutrition and is currently a Reader in Nutritional Physiology at the University of Surrey. Her interest has always been in the complex interplay between the gastrointestinal tract and whole-body physiology in both health and diseased states; with the gut now implicated now as both the “cause” and “treatment” for many conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. She works entirely in human models of human disease with her primary research focus being the metabolic effects of dietary fibre intake. 

Physiological benefits of fibres
Denise summarised the potential metabolic effects of increasing fibre intake; energy dilution, effects on appetite, systemic effects on insulin sensitivity, effects on blood lipids and effects on the gut bacteria.

Carrie Ruxton, PhD

Carrie Ruxton has a PhD in nutrition and has worked as a consultant to the food and drink industry for nearly 15 years. Previously, she was a hospital dietitian, budding politician, government advisor, and university lecturer. Carrie specialises in communicating nutrition science to a variety of audiences, particularly media, and has won awards for her writing.

Communicating benefits to consumers and health claims
Carrie looked at the authorised health claims for fibre ingredients and will discuss what is most likely to resonate with today’s consumers.