Scientists develop new satiety ingredient

12 Dec 2014

Scientists have developed an ingredient that can be added to foods to make them more filling. In its first tests in humans, researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Glasgow found that the ingredient is effective at preventing weight gain in overweight volunteers. The ingredient contains propionate, which stimulates the gut to release […]

detail-trunk-girl-obesity-torso-shorts-traces-cellulite-white-background-isolation-39160531

Scientists have developed an ingredient that can be added to foods to make them more filling.

In its first tests in humans, researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Glasgow found that the ingredient is effective at preventing weight gain in overweight volunteers.

The ingredient contains propionate, which stimulates the gut to release hormones that act on the brain to reduce hunger. Propionate is produced naturally when dietary fibre is fermented by microbes in the gut, but the new ingredient, called inulin-propionate ester (IPE), provides much larger quantities of propionate than people can acquire with a normal diet.

First, 20 volunteers were given either IPE or inulin, a dietary fibre, and were allowed to eat as much as they liked from a buffet. Those given IPE ate 14 per cent less on average, and had higher concentrations of appetite-reducing hormones in their blood.

Next, 60 overweight volunteers took part in a 24-week study in which half were given IPE as a powder to add to their food and half given inulin. One out of 25 volunteers given IPE who completed the study gained more than three per cent of their body weight, compared with six out of 24 given inulin. None of the IPE group gained more than five per cent of their body weight, compared with four in the inulin group.

After 24 weeks, the IPE group also had less fat in their abdomens and livers compared with the inulin group. The findings are published today in the journal Gut.

Professor Gary Frost, who led the study at the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, said: “We know that adults gain between 0.3 and 0.8 kilos a year on average, and there’s a real need for new strategies that can prevent this.”

“Molecules like propionate stimulate the release of gut hormones that control appetite, but you need to eat huge amounts of fibre to achieve a strong effect. We wanted to find a more efficient way to deliver propionate to the gut.”

“This small, proof-of-principle study shows encouraging signs that supplementing one’s diet with the ingredient we’ve developed prevents weight gain in overweight people. You need to eat it regularly to have an effect. We’re exploring what kinds of foods it could be added to, but something like bread or fruit smoothies might work well.”

Dr Douglas Morrison, from the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre at the University of Glasgow, said: “There is significant interest in how food components like dietary fibre interact with gut microbes to influence health, but much of the evidence we rely upon comes from laboratory and animal studies. It is often difficult to translate these findings directly into successful human interventions.”

“Packaging propionate up to more efficiently deliver it to the large intestine has allowed us to make direct observations in humans that propionate may play an important role in weight management. These exciting findings could at last open up new ways to manipulate gut microbes to improve health and prevent disease.”

Imperial Innovations, a technology commercialisation company focused on developing the most promising UK academic research, is working with Professor Frost and Dr Morrison on taking the ingredient to market. The team is exploring how to deploy the ingredient so it makes the biggest impact and has early commercial engagement with a number of food and ingredient manufacturers, and says it would welcome discussions with further interested companies.

The study was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s (BBSRC) Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC), which aims to help the food industry develop products that deliver enhanced health benefits for consumers. The club operates by establishing partnership between research funders and a consortium of food companies to support academic research.

Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC Director, Innovation and Skills, said: “This is an excellent example of the exciting discoveries being made thanks to DRINC funding that can help to improve our health and benefit society. By working closely with industry to identify research priorities, we are investing in discoveries that have a much better chance of moving out of the lab and into our lives.”

Related tags

Events & Exhibitions

Related news

Scouting out the latest health trends and innovations at Vitafoods Europe

Scouting out the latest health trends and innovations at Vitafoods Europe

20 May 2022

From mood, cognition, and gut health to the importance of selling experiences rather than products, the Healthy Marketing Team (HMT) rounds up the biggest trends it spotted at Vitafoods Europe last week.

Read more 
Top trends to watch at Expo West

Top trends to watch at Expo West

18 Feb 2022

From the foodification of supplements to mission-driven commerce, trendspotters at Natural Products Expo West have identified the top 10 trends shaping the US healthy food industry.

Read more 
New Product Zone showcased the most innovative products at Fi Europe

New Product Zone showcased the most innovative products at Fi Europe

15 Dec 2021

Attendees of Fi Europe 2021 were able to discover an extensive selection of the most innovative products, showcased alongside insightful information at the New Product Zone.

Read more 
Startup Innovation Challenge 2021: Recognising disruptive ideas in F&B innovation

Startup Innovation Challenge 2021: Recognising disruptive ideas in F&B innovation

6 Dec 2021

The Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge aims to support innovative projects within the F&B industry by offering startups the opportunity to showcase their innovations and meet the industry's foremost ingredients professionals.

Read more 
Fi Europe Innovation Awards: Recognising innovative ingredient solutions at Fi Europe 2021

Fi Europe Innovation Awards: Recognising innovative ingredient solutions at Fi Europe 2021

6 Dec 2021

The Fi Europe Innovation Awards recognise ground-breaking work in food and beverage ingredients at the annual Fi Europe, co-located with Hi Europe, event. This year has featured some outstanding ingredients and concepts in the fields of health, sustain...

Read more 
Fi Europe opens its doors to in-person attendees today!

Fi Europe opens its doors to in-person attendees today!

30 Nov 2021

After a week-long online program Fi Europe opens for in-person attendees under 2G measures in Frankfurt today – if you’re not able to attend in-person, you can follow the program from the show floor live on the online platform.

Read more 
Obama celebrated 60 with top vegan brands

Obama celebrated 60 with top vegan brands

9 Aug 2021

Plant-based foods have become so widely accepted that former President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday celebration featured a vegan, plant-based menu, according to a menu leaked by Bloomberg.

Read more 
Plant-based nugget prices cheaper than real chicken

Plant-based nugget prices cheaper than real chicken

3 Aug 2021

Chickenflation is a real thing, and plant-based protein maker Alpha Foods is taking advantage of skyrocketing chicken prices to grab the attention of non-meat eaters and meat eaters alike.

Read more 
Future of Nutrition Award debuts at the Fi Europe Innovation Awards

Future of Nutrition Award debuts at the Fi Europe Innovation Awards

16 Jul 2021

The Fi Europe Innovation Awards, held at Fi Europe 2021 co-located with Hi Europe, celebrate people, companies and organisations breaking new ground in the Food & Beverage industry.

Read more 
Flavor company Givaudan crowdsources flavors with its Aroma Kiosk

Flavor company Givaudan crowdsources flavors with its Aroma Kiosk

12 Apr 2021

Swiss flavor giant Givaudan has rolled out its Aroma Kiosk, a digital sensory tool that crowdsources flavor preferences. These kiosks are located globally in grocery and retail stores as well as universities where shoppers can interact with the technol...

Read more