Bakers Journal

News
FODMAP diet for digestive health gaining momentum


June 11, 2014
By Bakers Journal

June 11, 2014, Australia – A new range of low-FODMAP foods for
patients with irritable bowel syndrome may signal the beginning of a new
segment of the free-from market that has the potential to rival
gluten-free, says the editor of New Nutrition Business, in a news release.

June 11, 2014, Australia – A new range of low-FODMAP foods for
patients with irritable bowel syndrome may signal the beginning of a new
segment of the free-from market that has the potential to rival
gluten-free, says the editor of New Nutrition Business, in a news release.

The FODMAP diet, developed by Melbourne, Australia-based
dietitian Sue Shepherd, is low in certain
naturally occurring fibres and sugars. It was originally developed as a dietary
therapy for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The name is an
acronym for Fermentable, Oligosaccharide, Disaccharide, Monosaccharide and
Polyols, and the diet has solid, if somewhat limited, scientific evidence as a
treatment for IBS.

“Many in the food industry view the scientific
basis of FODMAPs as controversial,” says Julian Mellentin, editor of New Nutrition Business, in a news release. “Some will deny that it
is anything more than a niche medicalised concern of little broader relevance.

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“However, gluten-free eating was also – not very
long ago – dismissed as just such a niche. Thanks to the web,
consumers can do their own research, conduct their own personal eating
experiments and find what they believe works for them.”

Results of the diet can be immediate for many
patients and may help followers
find convenient foods that are low in the relevant fibres and sugars.

The FODMAP concept has a large potential pool of
consumers, says the release. In Australia alone, there are an estimated five million people with IBS
and non-celiac gluten intolerance. Worldwide, the condition, depending on how
it is defined, can affect up to 20 per cent of the population, with the highest rates
in the United States and the European Union, according to figures from the
World Gastroenterology Organization. Irritable bowel syndrome has traditionally been resistant to
treatment.

“These forces might yet make FODMAPS a force to
be reckoned with – after all, digestive health has been one of the biggest
trends in the business of food and health for over 20 years,” says Mellentin.

“Addressing digestive health issues is the basis
of successful brands such as Activia probiotic yoghurt. Digestive health also
lies at the core of why many people choose gluten-free foods. And addressing
digestive health issues – IBS – is the aim of the FODMAPS diet.

“Who’s to say that more consumers won’t find
information about it on the web and favour ‘FODMAP-friendly’ foods? Or that it
won't steadily grow to become a force – a niche force perhaps but a force
nonetheless – as gluten-free has done?

“Smart companies will keep an eye on FODMAPS,”
he concluded.