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Inulin: discover the secrets

Glucomannan (Konjac flour)

Glucomannan, also referred to as konjac mannan, is a water-soluble dietary fibre, which is derived from devil’s tongue, better known as konjac root. The konjac plant is found mainly in East Asia. Konjac flour has been used in Asian cooking since around the 1500s, for making glass noodles, for example. Glucomannan is used for thickening, jellifying and as a bulking agent in the production of food.

Glucomannan is a type of starch, which is composed of a branched chain of sugar molecules that is referred to as a polysaccharide.

Glucomannan is a dietary fibre and possesses a particularly high swelling capacity. In literature, this natural product is described as having the highest known water-binding capacity. It can bind 50 times the amount of water of its own weight. For this reason, konjac flour is also increasingly being used for saturation in dietetic products. Thanks to glucomannan’s high swelling ability, gastric emptying is slowed down and satiety sets in. Due to this swelling ability however, it is extremely important to drink enough water so that no blockages occur in the oesophagus or stomach.

Just as with the consumption of inulin, insulin and blood sugar levels do not increase when glucomannan is consumed. Intensive research is currently being carried out on the usefulness of glucomannan in dealing with metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and obesity. Positive results have already been reported here.

The metabolism of glucomannan is the same as with inulin. The starches make their way into the lower sections of the intestine undigested and are a source of nourishment for the natural intestinal bifidobacteria. The growth of less desirable bacteria and yeasts are thereby hampered. There is, however, a small side effect: excessive consumption of dietary fibre can stimulate bowel movements more than desired. It may result in bloating and diarrhoea.

When switching over to inulin- or glucomannan-based foods, you should initially experiment with the size of portions and let your intestine get used to the new dietary fibre.

In the food industry, glucomannan is used as a thickener, a gelling agent and also as a bulking agent.

 

This ingredient is present in the following GEFRO products:

GEFRO Balance Soup-er Snack VEGGIE LOVE, GEFRO Balance Soup-er Snack TOTALLY TOMATO, GEFRO Balance Soup-er Snack TASTE OF ASIA, GEFRO Balance Soup-er Snack EL GAZPACHO, GEFRO Balance Soup-er Snack PEA-LICIOUS, GEFRO Balance Soup-er Snack MUSHROOM MANIA, GEFRO Balance Soup-er Snack BEETROOT KISS, GEFRO Balance Salad Dressing AMORE POMODORE, GEFRO Balance Fine WHITE SAUCE,GEFRO Balance Deliciously DARK GRAVY, GEFRO Balance Tomato Sauce and Soup DOLCE VITA

 

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