Science & Medicine
Thu September 20, 2012
Purdue professor's fiber product moving to market
A new way to get your daily allowance of fiber is closer to reality.
Purdue Food Science Professor Bruce Hamaker has designed a substance that the body digests and ferments at a slower rate than natural fiber. Two clinical trials showed patients were able to tolerate it better and had no side effects.
He says the initial goal of the research was to address the problem of dietary fiber intolerance.
"That is mainly caused by rapid fermentation, which occurs when bacteria extract energy from fiber. Nearly everyone is affected by intolerance, depending on the amount of fiber they digest and how rapidly it ferments."
Hamaker says that has healthy benefits.
"Butyrate, which is produced in high levels by the Purdue-designed fiber, is a beneficial by-product of the fermentation process. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and is an energy source for the cells that line the colon."
Nutrabiotix LLC in the Purdue Research Park is commercializing it. President and C.E.O. Mark Cisneros says final plans are underway to get it on the market.
"We have a manufacturing partner lined up. We can generate large amounts of product right away. We're searching for that distribution partner and ultimately, that's how we're going to commercialize the product. So, we're very close."
He says the fiber was tested as a capsule, but can be mixed with food.