Oats are appearing more and more frequently on menus. There are good reasons for this, because the grain is very versatile. For example, it is convincing in the form of oat drink, as a meat substitute or in breakfast cereals. In addition to the wide range of applications, however, oats are particularly convincing in that they are healthy – and not least because of beta-glucan.
In this blog post, we will devote ourselves entirely to this oat-specific dietary fiber. You will learn below why it is so healthy and how you can use it in food.
What is oat beta-glucan?
Dietary fibers are indigestible carbohydrates. Beta-glucan is found in some yeasts, mushrooms, algae and cereals. Depending on the source of origin, they have different properties.
Oats play a major role here. Many positive characteristics are attributed to oat beta-glucan. The water-soluble dietary fiber is particularly popular because of its cholesterol-lowering effect. However, there are definitely other benefits that make its consumption recommendable.
Health effects of oat beta-glucan
Various research results recommend a daily intake of about 3 g of oat beta-glucan. Thus, the dietary fiber is said to be able to have a positive influence on the human body.
Particularly noteworthy are the following properties:
Oat beta-glucan lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood and helps maintain a normal level. This simultaneously reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
Blood sugar level is lowered
You can also improve the level of your blood sugar with the intake of dietary fiber. These can help in reducing the spikes in blood sugar after eating.
Benefits for the stomach and intestines
Dietary fiber stimulates intestinal motility and therefore digestion. When swollen, these become a jelly-like mass. This mass covers the intestinal mucosa and protects it. Harmful substances are bound and excreted. In addition, oat beta-glucan has a soothing effect on the stomach.
Feeling of satiety
Due to the swelling of the dietary fiber, the food stays longer in the stomach. The stomach is also stretched. This leads to a longer feeling of satiety and can thus also contribute to weight reduction.
Oat fiber as a supplier: Use in foods
The question remains, how you can take in the so healthy dietary fiber through the daily diet. Fortunately, this is not a problem. In principle, the consumption of oatmeal or bran, for example, is suitable for this purpose.
Alternatively, you can also consume oat beta-glucan via oat fibers. It is a natural source that can be prepared in different ways. That is why it is a popular additive among food manufacturers.
The fibers are available in powder form. This makes them ideal for further processing. They are often used, for example, as follows:
As a binder
Because of their strong water-binding properties, oat fibers have a thickening and stabilizing effect. This gives sauces, soups and other liquids a creamy consistency.
Add oat beta-glucan in the form of fiber to your dough and it will become fluffier. If you add the powder to your shaped bread, it will also have an attractive appearance: Oat fibers do not turn brown in the oven, but retain their white color.
As a guarantor of freshness
Making muffins and cakes fresher and longer lasting – this is also possible with oat fiber. The powder ensures improved moisture management.
Since oat fiber powder is highly soluble, it makes your drinks smoother. This way, you can also increase the beta-glucan content in oat drinks and other liquids.
As a stabilizer
You can use the fibers alone or in combination with other starches and so-called hydrocolloids as a stabilizer.
Beta-glucan from high-quality oat sources
No matter which oat product you choose to ingest or add to your food beta-glucan: It should be made from high-quality grains.
But what exactly does that mean? For naVitalo, the focus is on microbiological cultivation without genetic engineering. As a specialist in plant-based foods made from purely natural ingredients, we pay particular attention to this.
You are a food manufacturer and have questions or comments? Then contact us! We will be happy to advise you in detail.