Food manufacturers are racing to develop ‘functional foods’ and ingredients that will help battle obesity in developed countries. And a major strategy among food researchers and developers is to change the way foods are metabolized and therefore how they affect satiety, blood sugar levels, and other biological influences on the way we eat.
Derived from sucrose, isomaltulose is one of these functional ingredients. Developed by Germany's Palatinit company, and marketed under the name Palatinose, this slow-release carbohydrate may be found in products on the US market, and is currently aiming for approval in Europe. Such products undergo various approval processes, so it is difficult to say if or when Canadians could be indulging in isomaltulose.
This product, among others, are being developed in the wake of the low-carb boom (and bust), and the rise of the Glycemic Index (GI) era. The Glycemic Index is causing much discussion in the nutrition world, as it continues to prove its worth in understanding how various foods affect blood sugar and satiety levels, with low GI foods preferred over those with high GI rankings.
Isomaltulose is a low-glycemic product, meaning that its impact on blood sugar levels is slow and steady, avoiding sugar and insulin spikes in the blood stream. Under the brand name Palatinose, the Palatinit company plans to target the sports drink market in the European Union. Again, something to keep an eye on here in Canada.
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