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Adding extra fibre to foods could add value to Scotland's food and drink businesses

Adding extra fibre to foods could add value to Scotland's food and drink businesses

In a competitive food and drink market, Scottish manufacturers need to think what they can do to beef up their product range. Fibre enriched foods maybe one way to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Why are high-fibre foods of interest to the Scottish food and drink sector? According to Food Standards Scotland, the average daily intake of fibre is 15.6 grams in Scotland, which is half the recommended amount. And research undertaken by Tate & Lyle, found 48% of UK consumers want to increase their daily fibre intake. Is Scotland missing a trick when it comes to this promising nutrition trend?

Why is fibre so important?

There's evidence that fibre can have major health benefits. It can help the gut function properly and might help to reduce conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and bowel cancer. There's also evidence that fibre can help with weight management, because fibre-rich foods add bulk and volume to food, helping us to feel fuller for longer.

Which foods are naturally rich in fibre?

  • Wholegrain products, such as oats, pasta, bread and rice
  • Potatoes with their skin on
  • Legumes, such as peas, beans and pulses
  • Fruits, such as berries, pears, oranges, apples, baobab
  • Vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, avocado
  • Nuts and seeds

Is the industry ready to embrace fibre?

According to market research company, Mintel, 6% of new product development in 2017 claimed to be high in fibre or have added fibre, an increase of 2.5% compared to five years ago. All food launches which referenced being a ‘source of fibre’ accounted for 8.9%, compared to 4.2% in 2013. 

To claim a product as high fibre, the product needs to contain either a minimum of 6 grams of fibre per 100 grams, or at least 3 grams of fibre per 100 kcal. It's different in the yoghurt category. To be a source of fibre, a yoghurt requires 3 grams of fibre per 100 grams, or at least 1.5 grams of fibre per 100 kcal.

There's innovation potential across the whole sector. A range of products could easily benefit from a fibre infusion, everything from pasta to snacks, fruit juices to yoghurts.

Fibre innovation

Educating consumers about the health benefits of a high-fibre diet will help raise the profile of new product development.

If you want to understand more about the use of fibre-enriched products in Scotland we can help. We support companies innovate around product development, workforce engagement and processes.

Innovation support for Scottish food and drink companies

Make Innovation Happen is a single source of innovation support for businesses involved in the Scottish food and drink supply chain.

Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise work in partnership across academia, the public sector and the industry to deliver a comprehensive innovation support service.

Make Innovation Happen can help your business by providing:

  • Access to 'connectors', who can offer support, advice and mentoring, as well as direction to appropriate support
  • Ideas and insights on how to innovate through articles and events
  • Funding through the Collaborative Innovation Fund
  • Help to access other innovation services provided by Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Interface and others


Looking for innovation support?

Our Make Innovation Happen service can help you improve employee, product and process productivity.