Nutrim Enhances Foods' Nutritional
Already noted for developing
Oatrim and Z-trim, ARS chemist George Inglett has come up with
another healthful food ingredient-Nutrim (bowl in foreground).
Nutrim, a food ingredient made from barley and oat bran, may contribute to a
healthier diet for some people.
Developed by George E. Inglett, an Agricultural Research Service chemist at
the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois,
Nutrim is made from the layer of cells between the plant seed cover and germ.
This new food additive product comes on the heels of Inglett's two other
previously developed food ingredients, Oatrim and Z-trim. Oatrim, made from
enzyme-treated oats and barley, has the qualities of shortening and is used as
a fat-replacer in baked foods. Z-trim is an insoluble fiber gel prepared from
high-fiber agricultural products like corn and oat hulls. Added to brownies,
cakes, and other baked goods, it lowers calories without affecting taste or
As a food ingredient, Nutrim's main nutritional advantage is that it's rich
in beta glucan, a soluble gum found in oats and barley. Beta glucan has been
shown to lower cholesterol in certain people, when eaten in the right
proportions in a low-fat diet.
The Food and Drug Administration recently approved new regulations allowing
food companies to claim health benefits from both oatmeal and oat bran in diets
that contain at least 3 grams of beta glucan per day. Inglett designed Nutrim
to meet these FDA rules.
It's considered to be a phytonutrient because it is derived from a plant
source, has nutritional value, and lowers cholesterol. Phytonutrient food
ingredients are a growing segment of the food industry.
Nutrim is also more cost effective for food ingredient makers and food
processors who use oat-based fat substitutes in their products; it costs about
half as much as alternative ingredients.
Inglett made Nutrim by cooking oats and barley flour in a process that
separates the smooth soluble fiber from the coarse fibers. The liquid slurry is
then dried and ground into a powder. Nutrim is a mixture of beta glucan and
starches. When mixed with water, it flows like a heavy dairy cream or coconut
cream, Inglett says. Nutrim can be used in baked goods, salad dressings,
sauces, and ice cream.
And, Inglett says, Nutrim may have potential as a nonfood product. He's
investigating its feasibility as a cosmetic ingredient.
"Nutrim flows very smoothly and is very soothing to the skin. Also,
fewer people are allergic to oats than to other foods, making it a good
candidate for a plant-based cosmetic line."--By
Agricultural Research Service Information Staff.
George E. Inglett is in the
USDA-ARS Biopolymer Research Unit,
National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, 1815 N. University
St., Peoria, IL 61604; phone (309) 681-6363, fax (309) 681-6686.
"Nutrim Enhances Foods' Nutritional Value" was published in
the December 1998 issue of
Agricultural Research magazine.