OptiBiotix Health plc (LON:OPTI), a life sciences business developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes, announces successful human taste studies in its SweetBiotix® product development programmes. The Company has a number of development programmes designed to:-
1. Develop natural high intensity sweeteners (HIS) with improved flavour profile and microbiome modulating functionality. The company announced on July 11th 2017 that it had succeeded in developing customised oligosaccharides demonstrating good flavour profile and sweetness of between 140X and 223X that of sucrose at equivalent concentrations.
2. Develop sweet natural healthy fibres which are not digested in the human gut, and hence calorie free. These sweet fibres have been developed as potential bulk sugar replacements as a product which has sweetness similar to sucrose but contain no calories, and improve microbiome diversity.
This announcement reports on human taste studies carried out on OptiBiotix’s sweet healthy natural fibres compared to existing sugars and prebiotics. The studies were performed by The Flavour and Sensory Science Centre at the University of Reading and tested eight samples (including OptiBiotix’s test sample) using an expert panel of 11 experienced panellists who rated 11 attributes compared to sucrose. The tests showed:-
· Of the 11 attributes rated, eight were significantly different between samples. The most substantial differences were in sweet taste, strength of off-flavour and sweet after taste.
· The sweet oligosaccharide developed by OptiBiotix was significantly sweeter than all other samples and low in all off-flavours (e.g. bitterness, sourness, staleness, saltiness etc).
The results of this independent study provide proof of product concept for natural, low calorie, sweet healthy fibres with gut microbiome functionality as potential bulk sugar replacement in a wide range of food products.
Given the global sweetener market, currently dominated by sugar, is forecast to reach $112bn by 2022 (Mordor Intelligence, 2017), the Company is filing additional patents to add a further layer of protection to the existing intellectual property portfolio to protect its inventions and fully exploit the commercial potential with suitable industry partners.
Stephen O’Hara, CEO of OptiBiotix Health Plc, commented: “We are pleased with the results of this study which showed OptiBiotix’s sweet oligosaccharide had the highest sweetness and was low in off-flavours when compared to a wide range of existing sugars and prebiotics. This development creates the potential to replace existing ‘unhealthy’ sugars with low calorie, healthy non-digestible fibres (SweetBiotix®) with gut microbiome functionality. With growing concerns over the impact on health of traditional sugars and artificial sweeteners, the ability to develop sweet functional fibres puts OptiBiotix at the forefront of product development in this area of growing industry and commercial interest.”