Banana cake

Source: Puratos UK

Puratos UK has secured a government-funded grant for an innovation that enriches breads and cakes with sustainable fibre.

The product, called Maxfibre, is the result of a collaboration between Puratos, Biopower Technologies, Food Science Fusion and the University of Chester. The grant, from government-funded body Innovate UK, has been awarded for the innovative usage of food waste.

Maxfibre is prepared from sides-stream products of brewery, cereal milling, and fruit processing to form a natural dietary fibre in a micro-powder format.

The micronisation process, developed by Biopower, allows for a variety of food by-products to be made into the high-fibre powder. These include apple pomace, tomato skins and oat husks.

Different by-products will be trialled as part of the research, with the aim of increasing the accessibility of affordable, nutritional food in a sustainable way.

A study commissioned by the World Health Organisation has shown that a fibre-rich diet can reduce the rates of coronary heart disease, stroke, and colorectal cancer.

However, research also suggests that adults in the UK are eating well below the government-recommended daily intake of 30g of fibre, with average figures ranging from just 9g to 18g per day.

While studies have shown white flour to be the healthiest it has been in 200 years, many in the baking industry see enriching bread with added fibre as a key challenge.

Various methods have been used, including the use of waste products like the Puratos project.

“Maxfibre aims to improve the health and enjoyment of bakery products while exploring new ways to repurpose and rethink food waste streams,” said James Slater, R&D director at Puratos UK.

“We hope for many similar opportunities and projects that allow us to work on combining great taste, health and sustainability.”

Dr Ian Campbell, executive chair of Innovate UK, said Maxfibre represented “the best of British business innovation”.

“Maxfibre, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development,” he added.