Focus on Health: Ingredient Aids for Satiety

March 26, 2012
There is considerable science behind 'feeling full.'

The main and secondary headlines on WebMD pretty much say it all:

"Satiety: The New Diet Weapon

"Losing weight -- for good -- may be about creatively managing hunger."

While eating less and exercising more are the simplest and probably best pieces of advice for dealing with obesity, global or personal, there's not much the food processing industry can do about either one. However, there are ingredients finding their way into more and more product development toolboxes that allow food-makers to join the battle against the bulge and still sell processed food products.

The study of satiety is a relatively young one, but it's a strategy that meets with common-sense nods from both scientists and consumers. We've reported in the past on A Satiety Index of Common Foods, developed by Suzanne Holt of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia. She used white bread as a baseline and compared 240-calorie portions of various foods as consumed by volunteers, who then rated their feeling of fullness every 15 minutes over a period of two hours.

The project assigned a satiety value of 100 for white bread. The same caloric count of brown rice provided 155 percent of the satiety but white rice came in at only 119 percent. Topping the list is boiled potato at 323 percent of the satiety of white bread. At 68, it's no wonder no one can eat just one doughnut.

While it would be difficult to work some brown rice or boiled potato into a doughnut, there are other ingredients that can get you the same effect. In a technical paper on the subject, "In-Demand Nutrients Targeting Weight Management" (, Fortitech Inc., Schenectady, N.Y., lists "three important food-related factors that influence satiety": dietary fiber, low-glycemic index ingredients and the form of caloric intake -- i.e., solid versus liquid calories.

The paper explains the two kinds of dietary fibers. "Soluble fibers (pectins, gums, mucilages and storage polysaccharides) are associated with having favorable metabolic effects on glucose and lipid metabolism. Insoluble fibers (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignins) are associated with promoting fecal bulk, softening and laxation. Insoluble fiber types are generally poorly fermented in the large intestine, while soluble dietary fibers are fermented by the bacteria into short-chain fatty acids, which have additional positive health benefits."

On the subject of solid versus liquid foods, the paper also points to recent research that indicates liquid calories, such as in an energy drink, may have lower short-term satiety effects than an equivalent amount of calories delivered in a solid food format, such as an energy bar.

Glycemic response relates to the ebb and flow of blood glucose as a satiety signal. It's a favorite topic of National Starch Food Innovation (, Bridgewater, N.J., now a part of Corn Products International, and soon together to be called Ingredion. National Starch long has been a champion of resistant starch and the company's own branded product Hi-maize.

The company's most recent clinical trial, which will be published in the April Journal of Nutrition, found more than a 50 percent improvement in insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese men after consuming three tablespoons of Hi-maize resistant corn starch as a supplement in their diet.

That's on top of a wealth of other research on resistant starch, which resists digestion in the small intestine and reaches the large intestine. "In the last 20 years, more than 200 published studies – including more than 70 human clinical trials – have demonstrated a range of potential health benefits resulting from consumption of Hi-maize resistant starch," says Rhonda Witwer, National Starch's senior business development manager of nutrition These benefits include assisting blood sugar and energy management, weight management and satiety.

Satiereal is a new satiety ingredient from PL Thomas (, Morristown, N.J. The patent-pending extract of saffron petals and stamen (Crocus sativus) decreases stress and improves emotional wellness, "producing a stable state of satiety." More clinically, it "enhances activity of neurotransmitter serotonin that controls satiety, appetite, mood, compulsive behavior and decreases anxiety." Since saffron and its extract are considered spices, it has GRAS status.

In its Promitor line, Tate & Lyle ( has resistant starch (at 60 percent fiber) and soluble corn fibers (at both 70 and 85 percent levels of dietary fibers).

Promitor Resistant Starch is suitable for a number of baking and fried processes, contributing just 1.7 Kcal/g dry solids, eliciting a very low glycemic response and reducing oil pick-up in fried snacks –which itself can resulting in a 15-25percent reduction in fat absorption and a potential reduced fat or reduced calorie claim.

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