Tate & Lyle is dramatically increasing work on a wide range of functional ingredients after founding its Speciality Food Ingredients Business in 2010.
"We believe functional foods have a very good future and have a programme developing the next generation of functional fibres with a very good scientific and clinical message for the European market," said James Blunt, vp of sales and marketing, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Tate & Lyle was looking to expand the global reach of its soluble corn fibre (SCF), including its core SCF brand Promitor, said Blunt. "SCF is on the US market. We're looking at whether we will bring it across to Europe."
SCF conveys many benefits traditionally associated with fibre, such as improving gut health, helping to fight high cholesterol and blood sugar levels, assisting with weight management and creating low sugar formulations.
Staying in the fibre field, Tate & Lyle believed there was considerable potential in polydextrose, said Blunt. "There's a lot of chatter around it as a low-calorie bulking agent. We see more customers working with polydextrose to reformulate products.
"We have been working a lot to position it as a low-cost fibre that is process stable and easily digestible. There's a deficit of fibre in the European diet."
Tate & Lyle planned to make significant use of polydextrose in its Rebalance portfolio, which had been created to assist with reformulation, he said. Cereal manufacturers, were particularly interested in such solutions to reduce sugar and boost the fibre content in their products, he added.
Tate & Lyle was also now ready to commence the global roll out of its Creamiz starch, which is designed to replace fat while maintaining a creamy mouthfeel for indulgent desserts.
Blunt said the company would continue to promote its Splenda sucralose and fructose products and would also seek to set up a European centre for developing new confectionery applications: "We have capabilities in the US, but having them over here would certainly help us."
Increasing interest in Splenda sucralose was being driven by the rising price of cane sugar, he said.