Danisco have agreed to acquire an equity stake in GraceLinc, a New Zealand company. GraceLinc produce and market Glucagel, which is a naturally-extracted barley beta-glucan.
As a soluble dietary fibre ingredient, Glucagel has potential health benefits, particularly for cardiovascular health, digestive health and glucose and weight management. The cardiovascular health benefits of cereal beta-glucans are attributable to their widely studied cholesterol-lowering properties. In addition, beta-glucans are low glycaemic and hence suitable for consumers seeking low impact carbohydrates including diabetics.
Cereal beta-glucans have the potential to capture a significant share of the market for soluble dietary fibres. The purchase is the start of a partnership aimed to make Glucagel, a functional food and dietary supplement ingredient. When key milestones – relating to completion of human intervention studies and process development – are met, Danisco have planned to move to full ownership of the start-up company.
According to Fabienne Saadane-Oaks, President, Danisco Bio Actives, becoming a GraceLinc shareholder is a further step towards becoming a First choice ingredient partner within health and nutrition. It will strengthen Danisco’s position in speciality carbohydrates. Glucagel is a beta-glucan ingredient because it has a high purity and is easy to formulate without affecting taste or odour of the food to which it is added.
Glucagel can be used in a wide range of applications such as bakery, nutrition bars, beverages, dairy and dietary supplements. Food manufacturers, particularly in Europe and Asia, have shown strong interest in the product and food products containing Glucagel are already on the market in Europe.