Ingredient Update: Prebiotic Fibre

What are prebiotic fibres?

Prebiotics are a type of dietary fibre that help to cultivate healthy gut bacteria. Research continues to develop around the benefits of prebiotic fibre for promoting and maintaining gut health. In nature, prebiotic fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, and legumes in varying amounts.

What is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?

Probiotics and prebiotics are both important in supporting gut health; however, there are key differences.

Probiotics are live bacteria that provide various health benefits and can be found in certain foods and supplements.

Prebiotics provide nourishment for beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Health benefits of prebiotic fibre

Studies have shown that poor gut health is linked to a raft of disorders, including immune system functions, depression, sleep problems, obesity, and inflammation. Having a healthy digestive system may even reduce cancer risk. A diet that is high in sugar and fat negatively impacts the gut bacteria, and certain chemicals and antibiotics have also been shown to change their composition.

Prebiotic fibres are specifically designed to boost the beneficial bacteria found in the gut, allowing them to produce nutrients, including short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, acetate and propionate. These are then absorbed into the bloodstream to improve metabolic health.

Prebiotic fibre product launches

Prebiotic fibres such as inulin can replace easily-digestible carbohydrates used as bulking ingredients in products targeted towards ketogenic or other reduced-sugar products. Notably, maltodextrin has proven detrimental to keto diets, and prebiotics such as inulin can be used as an alternative (gut-healthy) bulking agent. Product categories include low sugar protein shakes or ketogenic-friendly snacks.

Adding prebiotic fibre can also improve products' nutritional profile by replacing saturated fat, positioned as a healthier way to enhance taste and texture while supporting the digestive system.

Including inulin as an ingredient can help to:

  • Improve the prebiotic content
  • Replace fat and sugar
  • Enhance texture

Prebiotic fibres such as inulin can be used in products such as:

  • Protein and cereal bars
  • Yoghurt, ice-cream and other dairy products
  • Baked goods and desserts
  • Drinks

Learn more

Our New Product Development team can work with you to incorporate prebiotics and are ready to advise on bespoke requirements. For further information on our offering or to learn more about how Uren can support your plans for 2021, please contact