According to the ingredients group, the investment in GraceLinc, which produces the barley-derived Glucagel product, will allow Danisco to make its first foray into the beta-glucan market. The investment comes ahead of a possible outright buy of GraceLinc should it meet certain ‘milestone’ conditions set out by the company.
Danisco spokesperson Natalie Weber told NutraIngredients.com that the group had a great interest in establishing itself in the area of cardiovascular health, as a means to complement its existing operations relating to digestive and dental wellbeing.
Cereal-derived beta-glucans have been linked to offering cardiovascular benefits and cholesterol-lowering properties as a result of being low glycaemic products, according to the company.
“Cereal beta-glucans have the potential to capture a significant share of the market for soluble dietary fibres, which is estimated at more than €400m,” Danisco stated.
It is in this market that Danisco aims to push Glucagel as a major development in functional food and supplement ingredients, said Fabienne Saadane-Oaks, president for the group’s Bio Actives division.
“At the same time, [the investment will] strengthen our leading position in speciality carbohydrates. Glucagelis a very innovative beta-glucan ingredient because it has a high purity and is easy to formulate without affecting taste or odour of the foods to which it is added,” Saadane-Oaks stated.
Weber claimed that, as opposed to some beta-glucans currently on the market, Glucagel was designed as a high concentrate alternative for manufacturers looking to make use of the products.
The company added that this design has already led to strong demand for the branded beta-glucan in the markets of Asia and Europe, with the latter already selling some products containing the product.
In a bid to meet this potential demand, the group is initially aiming to push the product as a dietary supplement with a focus on food applications expected to follow later. The applications are expected to include functional developments for baked goods, nutrition bars, beverages and dairy products.
Weber said the company was unable to specify what sort of share it currently held in GraceLinc, other than it was a minority holding.
However, she said that a wider aim of an outright acquisition of the group was expected pending the completion of human intervention studies and process developments.