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Title:
LOW-FRUCTAN GRAIN MATERIAL AND A METHOD FOR PRODUCING THE SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/113465
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention is directed to a technology that allows efficient removal of fructan from grain material. The method according to the invention utilizes a seed starter or a microbial starter to decrease the fructan content. Said seed starter is generated from grain material having a low content of damaged starch. The obtained grain material has fructan content significantly lower compared to the starting situation. This low-fructan grain material can be used in producing low-fructan grain ingredients and products suitable e.g. for low- FODMAP diet, and also various cereal food products with dietary benefits. The present invention is also directed to products containing low-fructan grain ingredients.

Inventors:
LOPONEN, Jussi (Joutsenrinne 6 A, Vantaa, 01450, FI)
Application Number:
FI2016/050011
Publication Date:
July 21, 2016
Filing Date:
January 12, 2016
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
OY KARL FAZER AB (P.O. Box 4, Helsinki, 00941, FI)
International Classes:
A23L5/20; A21D8/04; A21D13/00; A23L7/104; A23L33/10; C12P39/00; A23L7/00; A61K35/744; A61K35/747
Foreign References:
JP2006149228A2006-06-15
EP1084624A22001-03-21
Other References:
ANONYMOUS.: "Using sourdough breads to reduce fructans.", Retrieved from the Internet
MÜLLER, M. ET AL.: "Fermentation of fructans by epiphytic lactic acid bacteria.", JOURNAL OF APPLIED BACTERIOLOGY, vol. 76, no. 4, 1994, pages 406 - 411
VAN DER MEULEN, R. ET AL.: "Population dynamics and metabolite target analysis of lactic acid bacteria during laboratory fermentations of wheat and spelt sourdoughs.", APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, vol. 73, no. 15, 2007, pages 4741 - 4750
JASINSKA-KULIGOWSKA, I. ET AL.: "Effect of fermentation, extrusion and baking processes on content of fructans in rye products.", ZYMNOSC., vol. 20, no. 5, 2013, pages 129 - 141
ANDERSSON, R. ET AL.: "Content and molecular-weight distribution of dietary fiber components in whole-grain rye flour and bread.", JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY, vol. 57, no. 5, 2009, pages 2004 - 2008
WHELAN, K. ET AL.: "Fructan content of commonly consumed wheat, rye and gluten-free breads.", INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCES AND NUTRITION, vol. 62, no. 5, 2011, pages 498 - 503
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SEPPO LAINE OY (Itämerenkatu 3 A, Helsinki, 00180, FI)
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Claims:
Claims

L A method for producing low-fructan grain material by means of lactic acid bacteria, said method comprising the steps of

- generating a seed starter from grain material having a low content of damaged starch by back slopping;

- mixing grain raw material with liquid and with said seed starter which comprises lactic acid bacteria capable to consume fructan;

- incubating the obtained mixture; and

- recovering the low-fructan grain material.

2. A method for producing low-fructan grain material by means of lactic acid bacteria, said method comprising the steps of

- generating a seed starter from grain material having a low content of damaged starch by back slopping;

- isolating pure culture isolates (="microbial starter") from said seed starter, which comprises lactic acid bacteria having an ability to consume fructan;

- mixing grain raw material with liquid and with said pure culture isolate(s);

- incubating the obtained mixture; and

- recovering the low-fructan grain material.

3. The method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the grain material used for generating the seed starter has a damaged starch content less than 1.0%, preferably less than 0.5%, more preferably less than 0.25%, even more preferably less than 0.1% by weight of said grain material.

4. The method according to claim 1, wherein the grain raw material has a damaged starch content less than 1.0%, preferably less than 0.5%, more preferably less than 0.25%, even more preferably less than 0.1% by weight of said grain raw material.

5. The method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the back slopping is done at least 3 times.

6. The method according to claim 5, wherein the back slopping is done at least 6 times.

7. The method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the liquid is selected from the group consisting of water, carbonated water, milk, sour milk, cultured buttermilk, milk kefir, coconut kefir, water kefir, cultured yogurt, whey, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, dilute acid and base and buffer.

8. The method according to claim 2, wherein the grain raw material has a higher damaged starch content than 1.0% by weight of said grain raw material.

9. The method according to claim 2, wherein the pure culture isolates derived from said seed starter (="microbial starter") are used together with any other starter.

10. The method according to any one of claims 1-9, wherein said seed starter or said mi- crobial starter comprises lactobacilli.

11. The method according to claim 10, wherein said lactobacilli comprise Lactobacillus ul- tunensis, L. crispatus, L. amylovorus, L. amylovorans, L. sobrius and/or L. acidophilus. 12. The method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the mixture is incubated at 20 to 50°C for 4 to 72 hours.

13. The method according to claim 12, wherein the mixture is incubated at 40 to 45 °C for 6 to 24 hours.

14. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said seed starter or said microbial starter has the ability to consume more than 90% of fructan from the grain raw material. 15. The method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said grain raw material contains at least 1 % (w/w) of fructan.

16. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the obtained low- fructan grain material is further subjected to wet-milling, extrusion, drying or dry-milling, pasteurizing, or adjusting its acidity level.

17. Low-fructan grain material obtainable by the method according to any one of the preceding claims.

18. Low-fructan grain material according to claim 17, wherein said low-fructan grain material comprises 0 to 0.5 % by weight of fructan, preferably 0 to 0.3 % by weight of fructan, and even more preferably 0 to 0.1 % by weight of fructan.

19. Low-fructan grain material according to claim 17 or 18, wherein said grain is wheat, rye, or barley.

20. Low-fructan grain material according to any one of claims 17 to 19, wherein said grain material is substantially free from fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), fructose and mannitol.

21. Low-fructan grain material according to any one of claims 17 to 20, wherein the amount of each of fructo-oligosaccharides, fructose and mannitol is below 0.2% by weight.

22. Use of the low-fructan grain material according to any one of claims 17 to 21 for mak- ing dough.

23. A baked product comprising low-fructan grain material according to any one of claims 17 to 21. 24. The baked product according to claim 23, wherein said baked product is substantially fructan-free or contains 30-100% lower fructan content compared to corresponding conventional products.

25. The baked product according to claim 23 or 24, which is bread, tortilla, cake, pancake, biscuit, cookie, pie crust, pizza, pasta, noodle or spaezle.

26. The baked product according to claim 25, which is bread.

Description:
Low-fructan grain material and a method for producing the same

FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to a technology that allows efficient removal of fructan from grain raw material. The method according to the invention utilizes a seed starter or a microbial starter to decrease the fructan content. Said seed starter or microbial starter is generated from grain material having a low content of damaged starch. The grain material obtained by the method of the invention has fructan content significantly lower compared to the starting situation. This low-fructan grain material can be used in producing low-fructan grain ingredients, products suitable e.g. for low-FODMAP diet, and various cereal food products with dietary benefits. The present invention is also directed to products containing low-fructan grain ingredients. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Digestion-related problems are a frequent cause of general and social discomfort. These problems cover a diverse selection of gastrointestinal symptoms of which bloating, gas production, abdominal pain, overall discomfort, constipation, and loose stools are among the most frequent. Today many of the sufferers of such symptoms are believed to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is clearly more frequent in women and it is believed to concern 10 - 20 % of Western population; i.e. IBS is more frequent in Western population than lactose-intolerance (many people having lactose intolerance, though, might have IBS and vice versa).

Currently there is no good medical cure for IBS. Much attention has been paid on dietary management of IBS. Most attention has been laid on a diet called LOW-FODMAP diet. The idea of the diet is to avoid food items that contain FODMAP compounds. Term FOD- MAP is derived from "Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Monosaccharides, and Polyols". FOD- MAPs are short chain carbohydrates and monosaccharides which are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. FODMAP compounds include fructans, galactans, fructose, and polyols. Common sources of fructans include for example wheat, rye, onion, and garlic. Some examples of fructan contents of grains are as follows: rye (bran) 7 % (on grain material basis), rye (grain) 3 - 7 %, and wheat flour 1 - 4 %. Although wheat is not generally considered as being especially rich in FODMAP compounds, its relatively high consumption rate makes it a relevant source of fructans. This is why the FODMAP diet guidelines instruct to avoid wheat. Rye consumption is high in Northern Europe. Rye bread contains more FODMAP compounds compared to wheat bread, because whole grain rye contains more fructans than wheat flour. Fructans are built up of fructose residues, normally with a terminal sucrose unit (i.e. a glucose-fructose disaccharide). The linkage position of the fructose residues determines the type of the fructan. The basic types of single-linkage fructans are inulin and levan (or phlein). Additionally, there exists mixed-linkage fructan called graminan. Some prior art related to levels of fructan in bread is existing. In the article by Andersson et al. (2009) it was shown that the yeast fermented bread and especially the sourdough bread had lower contents of fructan as compared to whole grain rye flour. The results of Andersson et al. show that the fructan content of whole grain rye can be reduced from 5.0 % to 1.9 % by sourdough (62% reduction) and to 3.4 % by yeast fermentation (32% reduc- tion). The results also show that fructans are degraded during the bread- making process resulting in lower contents of total and extractable dietary fiber in the bread.

Article by Rakha et al. (2010) discloses that during bread making, the low-molecular weight fraction of fructan is most available for degradation by yeast or by endogenous en- zymes present in the ingredients. According to Rakha et al. the fructan content in rye milling fractions ranges from 3.4 % in inner endosperm to 5.0 % in bran. The fructan content of rye breads varied from 1.9 % to 4.0 %, with an average of 2.8 % in crisp breads, with a sample containing only whole grain rye flour being the highest in fructan content. The dough according to US patent application US 2011/0129572 Al comprises at least one fructose-containing polysaccharide and at least one enzyme capable of degrading said polysaccharide into short-chained fructo-oligosaccharide and fructose. The baked product produced using this dough was said to have an increased softness compared to otherwise identical control bread or baked product produced using dough not containing the enzyme. The discovery related to lowering the fructan amounts in plant material of patent application EP 1084624 is that while Lactobacillus strains in general do not degrade fructan, there are Lactobacillus strains which do have this property. According to EP 1084624 those strains are preferably Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus plantarum.

As can be noted from above, some techniques to alter fructan levels are currently known and used. Additionally, it is known that sour bread has naturally lower levels of fructan. These fructan lowering techniques are generally based on using fermentation or specific enzymes. However, with the use of fructan-degrading enzymes there is a possibility that fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are formed as degradation products as by this mean not all fructan is converted to fructose.

FOS are carbohydrates that the human body cannot fully digest and can thus function as prebiotics. There are some positive effects suggested for FOS. They may for example produce substances that stop the growth of harmful, toxic gram-negative and positive bacteria in the intestines. However, according to the currently available scientific evidence FOS can execute some harmful effects. FOS can cause e.g. bloating, flatulence, abdominal and intestinal discomfort, and eructation. Furthermore, people with lactose intolerance were shown to particularly suffer from these side effects. The reason for these symptoms may be that FOS are generally gastrointestinally more active than fructan polymer, since the intestinal microflora ferments them more rapidly. Moreover, fructose is also considered being a FODMAP-compound, especially when no comparable amount of glucose is present in the food item or meal. This is because fructose absorption in human body occurs along with glucose-induced uptake system. If fructose is not absorbed it will be fermented by intestinal microflora. Furthermore, mannitol (a polyol) formation typically takes place in fermentation in the presence of heterofermentative lactobacilli and a fructose source. This is because heterofermentative lactobacilli use fructose as an electron acceptor and, thus, convert it to mannitol. This practically means that a relevant amount of mannitol is present in many fermented grain products.

What are still needed in the art are grain materials that are substantially free of fructan and thereby can be used to prepare products that are suitable for low-FODMAP diets. What is also still needed in the art is an efficient method for fructan removal from grain material that would not result in unfavorable degradation products and further metabolites, such like FOS, fructose, or mannitol in the end product. Therefore, a method that would enable the efficient removal of fructan without unfavorable degradation products and metabolites would be very beneficial for development of food products suitable for low-FODMAP diet. Consumption of these food products would not cause gastrointestinal problems. Said food products could even have a positive effect on gastrointestinal health and in that way to general wellbeing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is defined by the features of the independent claims. Some specific embodiments are defined in the dependent claims.

According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for produc- ing low-fructan grain material by means of lactic acid bacteria, said method comprising the steps of

- generating a seed starter from grain material having a low content of damaged starch by back slopping;

- mixing grain raw material with liquid and with said seed starter which comprises lactic acid bacteria capable to consume fructan;

- incubating the obtained mixture; and

- recovering the low-fructan grain material.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for pro- ducing low-fructan grain material by means of lactic acid bacteria, said method comprising the steps of

- generating a seed starter from grain material having a low content of damaged starch by back slopping;

- isolating pure culture isolates (="microbial starter") from said seed starter, which comprises lactic acid bacteria having an ability to consume fructan;

- mixing grain raw material with liquid and with said pure culture isolate(s);

- incubating the obtained mixture; and

- recovering the low-fructan grain material. The present invention is directed to a technology that allows efficient removal of fructan from grain material. The raw material of the invention is grain material from wheat, barley or rye or mixtures containing any of these. In the method according to the present invention the grain raw material is soaked into liquid and a microbial starter or a seed starter is added to the mixture. The obtained mixture is then allowed to incubate.

In a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided low-fructan grain material obtainable by the methods according to the invention. Thus the present invention is also directed to wheat, rye and barley grain materials that are obtainable by the methods accord- ing to the invention and are substantially free from fructan. More specifically the present invention is directed to low-fructan grain material comprising 0 to 0.5% by weight of fructan. The low-fructan grain material of the present invention can be used to prepare products that are suitable for low-FODMAP diet products. As stated above, the method for producing low-fructan grain material according to the present invention comprises the steps of mixing the grain raw material with liquid and with a seed starter generated from grain material having a low content of damaged starch by back slopping, and incubating the obtained mixture. A seed starter or a microbial starter used in the method according to the invention comprises lactic acid bacteria and has the ability to consume more than 90%, preferably more than 95% of fructan from the raw grain material when the mixture is incubated at 20 to 50°C for 4 to 72 hours. After the incubation, the soaked grain material has fructan content significantly lower compared to that of the grain raw material. Further processing of the grain material is usually carried out and can include for instance wet-milling, pasteurization, extrusion, drying or dry-milling, or acidity adjustment. The obtained low-fructan grain material can be used for producing various low-fructan products, and especially those that are suitable for low-FODMAP diet, for instance baked goods. Use of the low-fructan grain material obtainable by the methods of the present invention for making dough is therefore also an aspect of the present invention. A further aspect of the present invention is a baked product comprising low-fructan grain material obtainable by the methods of the present invention. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Figure 1. The decrease in fructan content of whole rye flour by using different seed starters is presented as a function of time. The seed starter of sourdough- 1 was prepared using rye material virtually free from damaged starch and fermenting temperature of 45 °C. The other three seed starters were prepared using rye material with damaged starch. These were fermented at 30°C (sourdough-2, sourdough-3) and at 45 °C (sourdough-4). Figure 2. Fructan contents of the sourdoughs prepared using cereal material virtually free from damaged starch (A) vs. similar sourdough system prepared using cereal material containing damaged starch (B) were shown to be 0.1 % and 3.7 % (on grain material basis) compared to fructan contents of 4.3 % and 4.4 % of the raw grain material, respectively. Figure 3. Oligosaccharide profiles of sourdough prepared using cereal material virtually free from damaged starch (A) vs. similar sourdough system prepared using cereal material containing damaged starch (B). Peaks between 25 and 40 min represent mostly FOS.

Figure 4. Development of mannitol and fructose concentrations during the incubation of cut rye kernels and water with fructan degrading seed starter. Left-side panel: Mannitol concentrations in g/kg. Right-side panel: Fructose concentration in % of dry matter.

Figure 5. 11 microbe colonies were isolated from seed starter that was capable to efficiently reduce fructan levels. The microbes of these colonies were analyzed and their capability to consume fructan was measured.

Figure 6. Solid lines represent normal rye pumpernickel bread with fructan content of 2% and the dashed lines represent rye pumpernickel bread with reduced fructan content of 0.5%. The upper panel presents breath hydrogen levels after the breakfast and the lower panel presents the cumulative symptom scores as a function of time after breakfast

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION This invention comprises efficient methods for fructan removal from grain material. Said methods do not result in an unfavorable degradation of fructan resulting in unfavorable degradation products and metabolites, such as FOS, fructose and mannitol. This invention provides wheat, rye and barley grain materials that are substantially free from fructan and thereby can be used to prepare products that are suitable for a specific diet such as low-FODMAP diet. The present invention provides low-fructan wheat, rye or barley grain material comprising 0 to 0.5 % by weight of fructan. Preferably, said grain material comprises 0 to 0.3 % by weight of fructan. More preferably said grain material comprises 0 to 0.1 % by weight of fructan.

According to the present invention, an efficient removal of fructan from grain raw material is achieved. The grain raw material is preferably wheat, barley or rye, or a mixture containing any of these. Closely relative grains to wheat, barley and rye, such as spelt, emmer, kamut, triticale etc. or mixtures containing any of these can also be used. In this description, a "kernel" means the seed of the cereal plant, while "grain" means cereal material in general. Whole grain products are made from the whole kernel.

The grain raw material according to the present invention can comprise rye, wheat or bar- ley in the form of meal, bran, kernels, cut kernels, polished kernels, crushed grain, semolina, or bulgur. Oat as a raw material is not included within the scope of this invention. However, oat can be included in flour mixes used in baking processes utilizing low-fructan grain material obtained by the method of the present invention. The grain raw material used in the method of the invention preferably contains at least 1 % (w/w) fructan. How- ever, also grain raw material with lower fructan content can be included in flour mixes used in food processes, such as baking or extrusion that utilize low-fructan grains obtained by the method of the present invention.

Preparation of the seed starter

The seed starter with the ability to consume fructan quantitatively can be produced by utilizing back slopping. Back slopping means that small quantities of dough from the manufacture of a fermented product from a previous batch are used as the inoculum or starter for the subsequent batch production. Grain material can be added to liquid, preferably water, in a ratio that can be 1 : 0.6 or 1 : 10 or anything between these. The ratio is preferably 1 : 1.5 when the grain material is rye. The ratio is preferably 1 : 1 when the grain material is wheat. In a typical flour milling process, a proportion of starch granules gets broken down, i.e. damaged starch is formed. For instance, a typical wheat flour milling process can result in damaged starch content of 5% or more. In the present invention, in the preparation of the seed starter it is essential that the grain material has a low content of damaged starch. Preferably, the damaged starch content of the grain material is less than 1.0%. More preferably, the damaged starch content of the grain material is less than 0.5% or less than 0.25%, or even less than 0.1% by weight of said grain material.

The liquids in which the raw grain material can be soaked include water, carbonated water, milk, sour milk, cultured buttermilk, milk kefir, coconut kefir, water kefir, cultured yogurt, whey, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, dilute acid or base, or buffer. A preferred liquid is water.

The mixture is incubated at 20 - 50°C for 4 to 72 hours. Preferably, the incubation temperature is 40 - 45°C and time is 6 to 16 hours. Next day, a fresh batch of the grain material and liquid, preferably water, is mixed as above and inoculated with 1 - 10% of the previously incubated mixture. The incubation time and temperature are the same as in the previous step. This back slopping is preferably done at least 3 times and can be continued as long as necessary or wanted. Preferably, the back slopping is done at least 6 times. The outcome of backslopping started from grain material having a low content of damaged starch is the formation of spontaneous microflora that is able to efficiently utilize fructans as a carbohydrate and quantitatively to consume (and thereby remove) fructans from grain raw material. As described above, the seed starter can be produced spontaneously by continuous back slopping. It is important that the grain materials used for seed starter production have low content of damaged starch (e.g. whole kernels, peeled kernels, cut kernels). Damaged starch is starch formed during milling of kernel to flour as the mechanical stress induced by the milling process partially breaks down (damages) intact starch granules. The damaged starch formed is available for enzymatic hydrolysis by amylases, whereas undamaged starch is far more resistant to enzymatic hydrolysis. Enzymatic hydrolysis of damaged starch results in degradation products of starch, mostly maltose. In sourdoughs, there is amylase activity originated from grain material that is active against damaged starch. In addition, amylolytic microbes can be included in the sourdough microflora. In most sourdough systems that contain plenty of damaged starch, the maltose released by amylases is the main available nutritious carbohydrate. In the system where there is no damaged starch available to be enzymatically degraded to maltose that could serve as a nutrient, fructan is a major nutritious carbohydrate that is readily available. Therefore using grain materials with low amounts of damaged starch, for example below 1 % (on grain basis) of damaged starch, as a raw material in continuous back-slopping can result in microbial flora that is able to efficiently utilize fructan as a nutritious carbohydrate. This means that the adapted microflora has the ability to hydrolyze fructan and further use the possible degradation products and metabolites (fructose, FOS, mannitol) for growth. This means that the adapted microflora produces sourdough with low fructan content. The flora may also have transport system for fructans or their hydrolysis products.

Preparation of low-fructan grain material Accordingly, the present invention provides a method for producing low-fructan grain material, said method comprising the steps of mixing the grain raw material with liquid and with a seed starter obtained by back slopping from grains that are poor in damaged starch. Preferably, the damaged starch content of said grains and grain raw material is less than 1.0%, more preferably less than 0.5%, even more preferably less than 0.25% or 0.1%.

The liquids in which the grain raw material can be soaked are the same as described above for the preparation of the seed starter. A preferred liquid is water. Incubation times and temperature used in the preparation of the low-fructan grain material according to the invention are the same as described above for the preparation of the seed starter.

In one embodiment, pure culture isolates (within this disclosure "microbial starter"), derived from the seed starter generated from grain material having a low content of damaged starch by back slopping, can be used in the method according to the invention. Said seed starter-derived pure culture isolates are obtained from the seed starter by isolating bacterial colonies with different morphology to make pure cultures. When said microbial starter is used in the method according to the invention, the grain raw material may contain a higher damaged starch content than 1.0%. In one embodiment of the invention, the pure culture isolates derived from the seed starter generated from grain material having a low content of damaged by back slopping can be used together with any other starter. These starters can be, for instance, commercial starters or pure culture starters, or seed starters derived from sourdough or other fermentations, such as fermented dairy or plant products.

Said seed starter or microbial starter has typically ability to consume or degrade (hydro- lyze) more than 90% of fructan from the grain raw material when the mixture is incubated at 20 to 50°C for 4 to 72 hours. Preferably, said mixture is incubated at 40 - 45°C for 6 - 24 hours. Preferably after the incubation the soaked grain material has fructan content which is >90% lower compared to the fructan content of the grain raw material.

In a preferred mode, the microbial starter or the adapted microflora of the seed starter generated as described above comprises lactobacilli. More preferably, the seed starter or the microbial starter comprises or is Lactobacillus ultunensis, L. crispatus, L. amylovorus, L. amylovorans, L. sobrius and/or L. acidophilus.

The grain material obtained by fermentation/incubation is for example low-fructan rye, wheat or barley flour/meal/flakes/kernels, low-fructan cut grains, or low-fructan crushed grain with 0.8 %, 0.7 %, 0.6 %, 0.5 %, 0.4 %, 0.3 %, 0.2 %, 0.1 %, or 0 % (w/w) of fruc- tan. In a preferred embodiment, the obtained grain material contains 0 % to 0.5 % (w/w) of fructan, more preferably 0 % to 0.3 % (w/w), and most preferably 0 % to 0.1 % (w/w) of fructan.

Preferably, the obtained low-fructan grain material is substantially free also from FOS, fructose and mannitol. Within this disclosure, the expressions "substantially free from FOS, fructose and mannitol" and "substantially fructan-free" mean that the material does not contain said substances, or contains said substances at only very minor amounts (see e.g. Examples 5 and 6 and their results as shown in Figures 3 and 4). The amounts of FOS, fructose and mannitol in the low-fructan grain material according to the invention are preferably at most 0.2% each.

The obtained low-fructan material may be further processed for instance by dry-milling, wet-milling, extrusion, drying or, pasteurizing, or its acidity level can be adjusted. The drying process can be for instance spray drying, drum drying, vacuum drying, extrusion drying, oven drying or freeze-drying. More preferably, the obtained low-fructan grain material is further dried. The obtained grain material can be used directly in baking process to produce baked goods with reduced fructan content. The present invention provides also the use of the obtained low-fructan grain material in making dough and in baking. The present invention is also directed to baked products comprising the low-fructan grain material according to the invention.

The LOW-FODMAP-DIET is becoming a dietary trend, which will be recognized by the consumers, especially those who feel they suffer from gastrointestinal problems or those having been diagnosed with IBS. The present invention makes it possible to produce a raw material for grain-based products (e.g. flour, bread, porridge, breakfast cereals or extruded snacks) that are substantially lower in their FODMAP content compared to their traditional counterparts. The product according to the invention is low-fructan wheat, rye, or barley material, i.e. flour, meal, crushed grain, kernels, cut kernels, flakes for bread, biscuits or porridge or extrudates or flour mixtures to be used industrially or at home. All kinds of baked products containing low-fructan grains according to the invention belong to the field of this invention. Specific examples of the products containing low-fructan grains according to the invention are bread, that can also be in the form of loaves or rolls, French ba- guette-type bread, pita bread, tortillas, cakes, pancakes, biscuits, cookies, pie crusts, crisp bread, steamed bread, pizza and the like. Low-fructan grains containing products also include biscuit, cracker crisp bread, flour, meal, flake, flour mix or blend, extrudate, breakfast cereal, pet food, cereal bar, porridge, energy bar, snack bar, crisp bar, dried sourdough powder, pasta, noodle, spaezle, bulgur, semolina, or couscous. More specifically, the prod- uct according to the present invention can be any of the above-mentioned products with 30 - 100% lower fructan content, preferably with 50-100% lower fructan content, compared to conventional corresponding products. Preferably, the product according to the present invention is fructan-free or substantially fructan-free. Accordingly, the baked product according to the present invention is substantially fructan-free bread, tortilla, cake, pancake, biscuit, crisp bread, cookie, piecrust, pizza, pasta, noodle or spaezle. Most preferably, the baked product is bread.

In addition to grains, seeds and liquid, the bread composition according to the invention may contain also other suitable bread ingredients, including gluten, potato flour, sweetener, oil, emulsifiers, salt, and additives. Examples of suitable sweeteners include sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, honey, molasses, malt syrup or powder. The baked product according to the invention may also comprise other conventional ingredients, e.g.: proteins, such as milk powder and soy; eggs (either whole eggs, egg yolks or egg whites); an oxidant such as ascorbic acid; and an amino acid such as L-cysteine.

All modifications of the method according to the invention, such as adding to the incubation mixture Lactobacillus expressing fructan degrading enzyme(s), preferably extracellular fructan hydrolase, in addition to the seed starter or a microbial starter are naturally within the scope of the invention.

While the following examples are illustrative of the principles of the present invention in one or more particular application, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications in form, usage and details of implementation can be made without the exercise of inventive faculty, and without departing from the principles and concepts of the invention. Accordingly, it is not intended that the invention be limited, except as by the claims set forth below.

The verbs "to comprise" and "to include" are used in this document as open limitations that neither exclude nor require the existence of also unrecited features. The features recited in depending claims are mutually freely combinable unless otherwise explicitly stated. Furthermore, it is to be understood that the use of "a" of "an", that is, a singular form, throughout this document does not exclude a plurality. Example 1. Spontaneous production of a seed starter.

A seed starter with the ability to quantitatively consume fructan can be produced from cut kernels without any pre-existing seed starter for instance in the following way. The cut kernels used in the example contain 0.2% of damaged starch. 100 g of cut kernels of rye are soaked in 150 g of water and incubated at 45°C e.g. for 24h

10 g of the mixture from step 1 is mixed with lOOg of cut kernels of rye and 150 g of water and incubated at 45°C e.g. for 24h

10 g of the mixture from step 2 is mixed with lOOg of cut kernels of rye and 150 g of water and incubated at 45°C e.g. for 24h

10 g of the mixture from step 3 is mixed with lOOg of cut kernels of rye and 150 g of water and incubated at 45°C e.g. for 24h

10 g of the mixture from step 4 is mixed with lOOg of cut kernels of rye and 150 g of water and incubated at 45°C e.g. for 24h

10 g of the mixture from step 5 is mixed with lOOg of cut kernels of rye and 150 g of water and incubated at 45°C e.g. for 24h

10 g of the mixture from step 6 is mixed with lOOg of cut kernels of rye and 150 g of water and incubated at 45°C e.g. for 24h.

Example 2.

A process for the production of low-fructan dried rye material is illustrated by the following flowchart:

1. Whole grain rye material

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2. Mixing the grain material with water and a seed starter prepared as in Example 1 containing specific lactic acid bacteria that are able to efficiently utilize fructan.

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3. Incubation at 40°C for 12 h

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4. Whole grain rye with low fructan content

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5. Drying

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6. Optional milling Example 3.

Sourdough- 1 seed starter was prepared following the procedure from example 1 i.e. using cut rye grains and fermenting temperature of 45 °C. The other three starters were rye flour fermented at 45°C (sourdough-4), coarse rye meal fermented at 30°C (sourdough-2), rye flour fermented at 30°C (sourdough-3). The decrease in fructan content of whole rye flour by using four different seed starters as a function of time is presented in Figure 1.

Example 4.

A seed starter was prepared as described above. Bacterial colonies with different morphology (outlook) were isolated to pure cultures. These seed starter-derived pure culture isolates were used in the fermentation of cut rye kernels in water suspension. After 24-hour incubation the fructan content of samples were analyzed and compared to that of the starting raw material. Seed starter as such was used as a positive control. Isolate C appeared to be effective in fructan removal and was later on identified as Lactobacillus crisp atus. Both Isolate C and the seed starter reduced the fructan content by more than 95% (see table below).

Sample Fructan % Reduction %

Rye raw material 3,3 0,0

Seed starter 0,10 97,0

Isolate A 1.6 51,5

Isolate B 1,6 51,5

Isolate C (L crispatus) 0,11 96,7

Example 5.

Oligosaccharide profiles and fructan content of sourdough that is prepared using a seed starter prepared from rye grain material with damaged starch content of 0.2 (A) vs. similar sourdough system prepared using a seed starter prepared from rye grain material containing 2.7% of damaged starch (B).

In the example two different sourdoughs were compared with regard their fructan content profiles. Both sourdoughs were fermented for 16 hours at 40°C. The fructan content was determined using the Megazyme Fructan kit by following the manufacturer's instructions. Fructan content of the raw materials i.e. whole grain cut rye kernels and whole grain rye flour were 4.3 % and 4.4 % (grain material basis), respec- tively. Fructan contents of the fermented sourdoughs A and B were 0.1 % and 3.7 % (grain material basis), respectively (Figure 2). This result demonstrates that fructans were quantitatively removed from sourdough A during the fermentation, while there was no change in the fructan content of sourdough B. Samples of the two fermented sourdoughs were centrifuged and the liquid parts were analyzed with a HPAEC-PAD system that was set up for oligosaccharide analysis. In Figure 3, chromatogram peaks that are seen between 25 and 40 min represent mostly fructans and FOS. This result was verified by using fructanase treatment and consequent analysis. In Figure 3 A, no major peaks between 25 and 40 min area exist. In Figure 3B, a number of peaks can be seen between 25 and 40 min. In conclusion, in system B fructans or FOS were present and thus were not quantitatively removed by starter microorganisms.

Example 6. Rye sourdough was prepared using fructan degrading seed starter prepared as in Example 1, cut rye kernels and water. The mixture was incubated at 40°C for 10 hours. Left panel of Figure 4: Mannitol started to form in the beginning of incubation. This is typical as the heterofermentative lactic bacteria reduce free fructose to mannitol. The mannitol concentration was at maximum after 5 h of incubation and thereafter it started to decline. This is because it was uptaken and consumed by starter microbes. After 10 h of incubation the system was substantially free from mannitol. Right panel of Figure 4: Fructose content increased during the first two hours of incubation due to the fructan degradation. After 6 h of incubation, the system was substantially free from fructose. Example 7.

11 microbe colonies were isolated from a sourdough that was capable to reduce fructan levels by more than 90%. The microbes of these colonies were analyzed for their efficiency in removing fructan from grain material by using them as pure culture inoculants in laboratory fermentations. In each fermentation reaction, 20 g of cut grains of rye were mixed with 30 grams of tap water and 500 mg pure culture starter suspension containing 10 9 cells of microbe isolate. After 16 hours fermentation at 37°C the fructan content of the mixtures was analyzed using a commercial kit (K-FRUC, Megazyme). The initial fructan content of the grain material was 5% (dry matter basis). After fermentation, only two of the isolates resulted in final fructan content below 0.5% (dm) (isolates 2 and 10) while the rest 9 isolates resulted in fructan content clearly above 1% (dm) (Fig. 5). The two effective pure cultures were sequenced using 16S rRNA gene identification and identified as strains belong- ing to Lactobacillus ultunensis species.

Example 8,

The use of low-fructan grain material in baking mix -bread.

a) A seed starter with the ability to quantitatively consume fructan from grain material, as described in Example 4, can be used in bread making in various ways, and for instance, in the following manner. For preparation of sourdough for bread making, 1 kg of wholegrain rye flour is mixed with 1.5 kg of water and 90 g of the seed starter. The mixture is incubated for 8 hours at 42°C. After the incubation, more than 90% of the fructan has been removed.

b) For preparation of bread dough, 2 kg of flour ingredients (e.g. wheat, rye, oats, and barley) and 50 g of salt and 60 g of baker's yeast is added to the incubated sourdough of step a). The mix is molded to dough. The dough is allowed to rest for 2 hours at room temperature. The rested dough is molded into dough pieces with a desired format. The molded dough pieces are proofed at 37°C, 85% Rh for 1 hour. The proofed dough is baked at 200°C for 1 hour.

The final product is bread that has reduced fructan content compared to bread prepared identically using other sourdough than seed starter sourdough- 1 from Example 3 or compared to bread with the same recipe but produced with a straight process (without the 1 st incubation stage).

Example 9, Influence of bread products with reduced amount of fructan on breath hydrogen levels and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Two different pumpernickel type rye breads with similar characteristics but differing in fructan contents were prepared following protocol described in previous Examples. The fructan content of Pumpernickel rye breads were:

Bread 1 represents reference bread with normal fructan content, while bread 2 had reduced fructan content. The breads were tested using postprandial test-design where the test sub- jects included 160 g of test bread to a standard breakfast. The amount of hydrogen in exhaled breath (ppm) was measured and various gastrointestinal symptoms (pain, bloating, flatulence, borborygmi, eructation, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, defecation) were recorded. The results are presented in Figure 6.

The results of the study demonstrate that the amount of fructan ingested in bread directly reflects to the formation of gases during digestion as well as the gastrointestinal symptoms perceived by the test subjects.

References Andersson, R. Fransson, G., Tietjen, M. & Aman, R (2009). Content and molecular-weight distribution of dietary fiber components in whole-grain rye flour and bread. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 57 (5), 2004-2008.

Rakha A., Aman, R & Andersson, R. (2010). Characterisation of dietary fibre components in rye products. Food Chemistry 119 (3), 859-867.