Prebiotic products have the ability to make the environment of the human gut more amenable to healthy bacteria, and also contain beneficial bacteria that are already found in the human gut. These prebiotic products have garnered increasing attention from the public in recent years, and at the same time, most prebiotic drinks have been featured in the dairy category -- but not in the fruit category.
However, the prebiotic marketplace is becoming more fully developed, and manufacturers and marketers of prebiotic products are looking at ways to differentiate their products compared to competitive products. New Zealand's HortResearch has indicated that by tapping the prebiotic properties of fruits, the next generation of human-gut friendly prebiotic products could be produced.
Dr. Lesley Stevenson, science group leader for health and food at HortResearch, believes that fruit-derived prebiotics will "radically enhance" the functionality of gut-health drinks. Dr. Stevenson went on to say that "Scientists worldwide are beginning to recognize and accept that fruit -- and specifically some specific fruit compounds -- exhibit anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiviral potential."
In addition to indicating that specific fruit compounds have anti-inflammatory and antiviral potential, Dr. Stevenson also said that combining existing consumer awareness with broader health benefits and scientific evidence of specific functions and targeted delivery will be the catalyst for new superfruit-based functional foods.
New Zealand's HortResearch group boasts the world's largest fruit compound database -- and therefore has developed a number of new fruit compound varieties bred for their desirable properties. For example, tastier and crispier apples would be possible. Also, certain superfruits such as blueberries, pomegranate and acai -- now used in their whole form in juices, bars and other foods -- are proving remarkably popular.
"Superfruits contain powerful natural medicine," explained Mike Adams, author of "The Seven Laws of Nutrition." "These medicines help protect and support the microbiological ecosystem of the intestines, which produces enormous positive results on a person's health."