Almonds and almond seeds have demonstrated the potential to be used as a prebiotic ingredient in functional foods, delegates heard at the recent Vitafoods conference.
The strong cell walls of the almond and almond seeds limit the bioaccessibility of nutrients during digestion, according to Professor Martin Wickham, head of nutrition, at Leatherhead Food Research (LFR).
Therefore, there is a slow release of nutrients during gut transit and a high nutrient load, including lipid, is delivered to the colon.
"Not much work has been done on lipid as a prebiotic because the body does not react well to it in the colon. But when it is bound up in the cell walls of almonds and almonds seeds it shows a positive prebiotic effect."
LFR conducted research with King's College London.