View our LinkedIn profile View our LinkedIn profile

About Fiber


KONJAC

Konjac is an Amorpophallus plant and its tubers contain protein, ash, glucomannan, and moisture. The fresh konjac tuber contains an average of 13% dry matter, 64% of the dry matter is glucomannan and 30% is starch. By removing the starch to create a concentrate, glucomannan is produced. Konjac powder, Konjac flour, and Glucomannan are obtained from Konjac dry chips.

The production of Konjac dry chips is an important process because the quality of Konjac powder is determined from the raw material. At present, we have substituted the traditional processing method for an advanced non-deterioration technological process so that a highly pure Konjac powder is obtained. Glucomannan is produced from Konjac powder. Glucomannan is a water-soluble dietary -FIBER- that can absorb up to 200 times its weight of water and create a highly viscous gel from 20,000 to 40,000 cps. Several studies have pointed out the Konjac's tremendous benefits to human health, and it could be used in natural food, food additives and medicine, as well as in other industries such as chemicals and petroleum.

Below are highlights of Konjac and Glucomannan's applications in various areas:

Food Industry

Food and bakery ingredients, sausage, pasta, dressing, ice cream, yogurt and beverage

Functional Health Food

Weight control, cholesterol control, and prevent Type II diabetes and constipation

Pharmaceuticals

Vegetarian capsules, tablets and slow release agent

Other Industries

Lubricant, suspension agent, thickening agent

 

Glucomannan is a water soluble dietary fiber with molecular weight between 200,000 - 2,000,000 Daltons. Glucomannan is a polysaccharide comprising mainly D-glucose and D-mannose bonded together in β (beta) -1,4 linkages .Glucomannan can absorb up to 200 times its weight of water and also forms a highly viscous gel from 20,000 to 40,000 cps. The gel can be either reversible or thermo-non-reversible.

 

Functional Properties

High Viscosity

Konjac forms viscous gel from 5,000 to 40,000 cps

Soluble Fiber

Konjac can be readily dissolved in cold or hot water

Absorption

Konjac has high absorption capacities: 1 gram of konjac can absorb up to 200 times its weight in water. It forms colloidal solutions that are very similar to gels starting at about 2% in water

Gel Strength

Konjac gel is of non-ionic type and is less sensitive to salt, pH, temperature, shear, etc. At ambient temperature, konjac gel remains stable even if pH drops to 3.5

Synergistic Effect with other Hydrophilic Gums

Konjac reacts synergistically with xanthan, carrageenan and other gums forming very elastic and strong gels

Resistance to Hydrolysis

Glucomannan is very little digested in the small intestine and is resistant to hydrolysis by the digestive enzymes

 

Health Benefits of Konjac / Glucomannan

 

Lowering Cholesterol

Several studies indicated that taking glucomannan appeared to lower blood levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins (LDL, or "bad" cholesterol), and triglycerides. It is believed that glucomannan may increase the elimination of cholesterol and its components from the body. It may also keep bile acids from being reabsorbed in the intestines, further reducing cholesterol levels in the blood, because the body uses cholesterol to reduce more bile.

Improving Sugar Metabolism

Since glucomannan can take up to 12 hours to make it through the intestines, it leads to more absorption of dietary sugar which is believed to reduce the level of blood sugar levels that are typical after a meal. When given glucomannan-enriched diets, overall diabetic control is improved. In a recent randomized, placebo-controlled metabolic trial, glucomannan was found to improve metabolic control in high-risk Type 2 diabetic patients, as measured by glucose and lipid levels and blood pressure.

Digestion & Weight Control

Glucomannan can absorb up to 200 times its weight in water, which can occupy the space in the stomach and thereby making a person feel full. This will cause a person to eat less and promote weight loss.

Prevention & Treatment of Constipation

Glucomannan when exposed to water forms a thick gel. Since the body does not digest glucomannan, so the resulting large soft mass moves through the intestines and may trigger intestinal muscle contractions. Consequently, glucomannan promotes a larger, bulkier stool that passes through the colon more easily and requires less pressure and less straining to expel. Several studies have demonstrated that glucomannan is an effective treatment for many with chronic constipation.


INULIN

Inulin is a group of naturally occurring storage carbohydrates found in a wide variety of plants including vegetables, fruits, cereals, Jerusalem artichoke and chicory. It is a mixture of oligomers and polymers of -(2-1)-fructose from the fructan family.

Due to its unusual nutritional characteristics, inulin also called prebiotic fiber and is widely used in food as a supplement or as a macronutrient substitute. As a supplement, it is mainly added for its nutritional property as a dietary fiber. As a macronutrient substitute, it is mainly used to replace fat and sugars.

 

Importance to the Food Industry: Inulin has many interesting nutritional and functional attributes that are useful in formulating food products. It is used either as food supplements or as macronutrient substitutes.

 

As food supplements, it is added mainly for its nutritional properties. Adding inulin increases the dietary fiber content of the food. In other applications, inulin is added to allow a specific nutritional claim, such as bifidobacteria stimulation. As a macronutrient substitute, inulin is mainly used to replace fat and sugar. Typically, one gram of fat is replaced by a quarter gram of inulin. Today, several hundred different food products containing inulin are on the market. The most common applications are in dairy products such as milk, milk drinks, bakery products, ice creams, cheese and desserts.

 

Nutritional Properties of inulin

Non-digestibility

Inulin is not digested in the human small intestine. It resists hydrolysis by intestinal digestive enzyme and enters the colon almost quantitatively, where it is metabolized mostly to short-chain fatty acids and lactate by the intestinal bacteria.

Reduced Caloric Value

The caloric value of inulin is greatly reduced due to its non-digestibility. It contains only one-third (1/3) to one-fourth (1/4) the food energy of sugar or other carbohydrates and one-sixth (1/6) to one-ninth (1/9) the food energy of fat. The caloric value for inulin is between 1.0 and 1.5 kcal/g.

Improvement of Lipid Metabolism

A series of animal studies demonstrate that inulin affects the metabolism of lipids primarily by decreasing triglycerides. The human data demonstrate reduction in triglycerides and cholesterol.

Bifidus Stimulation

Inulin stimulates bifidobacteria growth in the intestine. Fermentation of inulin is a selective process, bifidobacteria (and possibly a few other genera) are preferentially stimulated to grow, thus causing significant changes in the composition of the gut microflora by increasing the number of potentially health-promoting bacteria and reducing the number of potentially harmful ones. This selective stimulation of the growth of bifidobacteria thus modifies significantly the composition of the colonic microbiota. Such a modification is meant to be beneficial in part because it is accompanied by a significant reduction in the number of bacteria reported to have pathogenic potential. The health benefits ascribed to bifidoabacteria include inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, stimulating of components of the immune system and aiding the absorption of certain ions and the synthesis of B vitamins.

Suitability for Diabetics

Inulin is hydrolyzed to a negligible extent during its passage through the human mouth, stomach and small intestine. As a result, inulin has no influence on blood glucose level when ingested orally. Inulin has been widely used as a food ingredient for diabetics due to this property.

Colonic Precancerous Prevention

Recent research indicates that inulin has a significant chemo-preventive potential. It can prevent the formation of chemically induced colonic precancerous lesions in rats to a significant extent. It obviously delays the initiation phase of carcinogenesis.

Increase Mineral Absorption

Inulin significantly increases the intestinal absorption of calcium, iron and magnesium in rats. In human studies, inulin significantly increases the absorption of calcium and magnesium which are important for the maintenance of strong bones.

Dietary and Prebiotic Fiber

Inulin is a dietary fiber. By increasing fecal biomass and water content of the stools, inulin improves bowel habits. It increases stool frequency particularly in constipated patients.