Sugar replacement is complicated, advised Doris Dougherty, technical service representative, Fibersol, a joint venture of Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Matsutani, in an exclusive Q&A with Baking & Snack. It involves texture and other quality characteristics of the finished products, but formulators need to watch their calorie counts, too.

Editor’s note: On May 27, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration published a new definition of dietary fiber related to health claims and voluntary disclosure in the Nutrition Facts Panel on product labels. Readers should contact Fibersol,, for an update on the status of its ingredients as dietary fiber.

Baking & Snack: What is the latest news about resistant starch’s role as a fiber health and wellness? How does it figure into satiety? What other benefits has it been linked to and why?

Doris Dougherty: Recent studies have shown that Fibersol, a soluble vegetable fiber (corn), can provide an increased feeling of satiety, leaving consumers feeling fuller for longer periods of time. Research has shown consumption of 10 grams of Fibersol-2 with a meal can increase production of certain satiety hormones and delay hunger.

Because of growing concerns about obesity and related health issues, consumer interest in low-calorie, reduced- and no-sugar products continues to increase. Manufacturers are responding with new product options that utilize a different sweetener system while providing a similar flavor experience. Many consumers equate sugar reduction with calorie reduction. However, that is not always the case as sugars not only add sweetness but influence texture or other quality characteristics as well. In an effort to maintain quality, reformulations may not necessarily be lower in calories.

The Fibersol ingredient range can help achieve total or partial replacement of sugar, and the Fibersol line offers a variety of benefits, including sweetness. Fibersol can replace many of the functional properties of sugar, offering a real option to replace sugar and achieve caloric reduction. Additionally, Fibersol can be used to replace sugars that cause a rise in blood glucose following a meal and help consumers maintain a steady state energy level throughout the day. 

What can resistant starches do for formulating baked foods and snacks that other forms of fiber cannot?

Fibersol contains 90% dietary fiber (dry solids basis) so it offers a high purity level, a low calorie content and is well tolerated at the same time. Fibersol is highly suited for bakery and snack applications. As a low-viscosity, soluble fiber, it is easy to incorporate and requires minimal formulation and process adjustments. It allows formulators to increase total soluble fiber while maintaining the desired finished product characteristics. The fiber in Fibersol is heat-stable, acid-stable and remains intact during yeast fermentation.

Fibersol’s line of dietary fibers is ideal for incorporation into a variety of whole grain baking and snack applications. For formulators seeking a Whole Grain Stamp along with a fiber content claim (minimum of 2.5 grams or 5 grams of dietary fiber for “good” or “excellent” source, respectively), Fibersol can provide the solution by allowing developers to top off the fiber in their formulations with minimal process adjustments and sensory drawbacks. Moreover, using Fibersol has the added benefit of being able to replace sugar in many cases, thus reducing sugar and calories. Fibersol-2 and Fibersol-2AG ingredients add only 1.6 Cal per g, less than most carbohydrates.

Fibersol ingredients also add crispness to baked snacks, such as pretzels and crackers, and delay staling, therefore improving textural qualities. Additionally, Fibersol ingredients add no color, flavor or taste to a product, yet still provide up to 90% concentrated dietary fiber.

Do these ingredients bring clean label benefits to bakery or snack formulations? What are they?

Fibersol products can help manufacturers meet their clean label goals. Fibersol offers multiple label choices, allowing the formulator to choose the best option for desired product positioning. And, with more “friendly sounding” ingredient options, Fibersol can help position products as clean and simple.

Fibersol is offered in non-G.M.O. forms and Fibersol-2 can be labeled as “soluble corn fiber” or “soluble vegetable fiber (corn).”

Fibersol-2 has been recognized as GRAS by the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.), certified kosher pareve by the Orthodox Union, and is halal certified as well. Many consumers link kosher and halal foods with clean, simple formulation.

Please also describe your recent product introductions in the resistant starch or starch categories. What do they offer to formulators?

We have been busy expanding our product offerings to help ensure our customers have what they need. We have non-G.M.O. Fibersol available. Fibersol’s non-G.M.O. products are produced from non-G.M.O. corn under a robust non-G.M.O. IP program. These products are produced in accordance with the requirements of all E.U. relevant legislation with respect of G.M.O., including their traceability.

We recently launched a liquid version of Fibersol, Fibersol-2L. This new product has the same low calorie content of Fibersol-2 with 90% soluble dietary fiber (dry solids basis), and is very easy for manufacturers to incorporate into bakery and snack products.

And Fibersol-SF is our newest product. This soluble corn fiber and fructose syrup has been specially designed for applications where sweetness and moisture retention are beneficial in addition to fiber enrichment. For example, in cereal bars, the presence of fructose will help to keep the bar soft during shelf life. Fiber fortification is simplified because the fiber is water-soluble, low-viscosity, process-stable and clear in solution. Liquid Fibersol-SF also facilitates bulk handling and ease of incorporation.