A study conducted by researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University and published in the Journal of Plant Foods for Human Nutrition concludes that the inclusion of barley β-glucan rich fractions and mushroom β-glucan rich fractions could be utilised by the food industry to manipulate the glycaemic response of extruded snack products.
β-glucan is a commonly researched plant cell wall component that, when incorporated into food products, has been associated with cholesterol and glycaemic response reductions. The study focused on β-glucan rich fractions from barley and mushroom used in the production of extruded ready to eat snacks.
Inclusion of barley β-glucan rich fractions and mushroom β-glucan fractions at 10 % levels increased the total dietary fibre content of extrudates compared to the control. Product expansion increased with the introduction of both barley and mushroom fraction which in turn resulted in a reduction in product hardness.
In vitro digestion protocol illustrated that inclusion of barley and mushroom β-glucan rich fractions manipulated the starch digestibility profile and hence rate of glucose release during digestion compared to the control sample. This in turn resulted in a significant reduction in potential glycaemic response of the samples of between 20 and 25 % for barley β-glucan rich fractions and between 17 and 25 % for mushroom β-glucan rich fractions.