Arabinoxylan Will Soon Be Legalized in China Mar 17, 2022
On March 14, 2022, China's National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (NCSFRAC) publicly solicited comments on the new food ingredient arabinoxylan, the first new food ingredient to be solicited in 2022. As a kind of functional sugar, arabinoxylan has a variety of health effects and is expected to be used in functional foods such as digestive aid, blood sugar control, immune enhancement and weight loss.

What Are the Health Effects of Arabinoxylan?

Arabinoxylan is a water-insoluble polysaccharide made from sugarcane bagasse, wheat bran, corn husk and other grasses through pretreatment, alkali extraction, de-alkaline concentration, neutralization and precipitation, washing and purification, drying, etc. The FDA treats arabinoxylan as a dietary fiber, and products containing this ingredient have been allowed to be added to food or dietary supplements in the EU, Canada and other countries and regions, and the recommended The recommended dietary allowance is ≤15 g/day.

Arabinoxylan is considered to have antioxidant effects, protecting cells and tissues from free radical damage, and it is also a dietary fiber with beneficial biogenic effects, whose main health effects include.
1) Promoting gastrointestinal health
As a cellulose-based insoluble fiber, arabinoxylan may help improve digestion by maintaining healthy flora in the gut, facilitating the absorption of food and nutrients, helping food pass through the digestive tract faster, preventing constipation and reducing the risk of diverticular disease.
These benefits were demonstrated in a 2012 study in the British Journal of Nutrition, where 63 adults provided with 1,000 milligrams (mg) of arabinoxylan-rich bran daily for three weeks experienced a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of constipation.
2) Control of blood sugar levels
Insoluble fibers are believed to contribute to the production of short-chain fatty acids during fermentation in the intestine, the main source of energy in the lining of the intestine, and increasing their amount improves energy metabolism and speeds up the rate of glucose removal from the blood. Thus, consumption of arabinoxylan slows sugar absorption and lowers blood glucose levels, and can also help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by improving glucose tolerance.
A 2016 study in the European Journal of Nutrition showed that adults with diabetes who consumed arabinoxylan-fortified bread before bedtime had increased insulin sensitivity in all study participants the next morning. And higher doses of arabinoxylan resulted in better blood sugar control, which may help prevent type 2 diabetes.
3) Helps with weight loss
Xylan arabinoxylan increases metabolism and lowers blood sugar, and may be an effective weight loss ingredient for obese people. In a 2011 study published in PLoS One, mice fed a high-fat diet containing arabinoxylan had reduced body weight and adipose tissue compared to mice fed an unfortified diet, and also lowered cholesterol, reduced inflammation and improved insulin sensitivity.
Scientists attribute this effect to the prebiotic properties of arabinoxylan, which not only increased fatty acid production but also reduced the size of fat cells.
4) Improves immunity
Arabinoxylan can boost immunity by stimulating the immune system. Nk immune cells are a type of lymphocytes that can kill tumor cells and virus-infected cells non-specifically without pre-sensitization, which can efficiently identify target cells and kill media to protect our human life.
Currently, arabinoxylan is widely used in dietary supplements abroad.

Several Potential Functional Sugars in New Food Ingredients

1) L-arabinose
L-arabinose is a common component of plant cell wall and the main component of hemicellulose in cereals. 2008 was approved as a new food ingredient (No. 12, 2008), there is no consumption limit, and it cannot be used in infant food. It is also called "sucrose blocker".
It can inhibit the activity of small intestine sucrase and has a blocking and inhibiting effect on the metabolic transformation of sucrose. Adding arabinose in a certain proportion before meals can make the body inhibit the absorption of sucrose by 70% and also improve glucose tolerance, so arabinose can inhibit the increase of blood sugar and insulin concentration caused by the intake of sucrose.
2) Oligogalactose
Oligogalactose (GOS) is a kind of prebiotic from milk, which is an excellent source of nutrition and effective proliferation factor for beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus acidophilus in human intestine, which can improve the digestion and absorption function of human intestine, and also has a good effect in enhancing immunity and mood management.
3) Oligosaccharide
Oligosaccharide, also known as xylo-oligosaccharide, is a functional polymeric sugar that was approved as a new food ingredient in 2014 (Announcement No. 20 of 2014), which stipulates that the use of oligosaccharide is ≤3.0 g/day, and the use does not include baby food.

Oligosaccharide is one of the strongest varieties of polymeric sugars to proliferate bifidobacteria, its efficacy is nearly 20 times that of other polymeric sugars, the human gastrointestinal tract does not have enzymes to hydrolyze oligosaccharide, so it can directly enter the large intestine to give priority to bifidobacteria to use, promote the proliferation of bifidobacteria and produce a variety of organic acids. It lowers the intestinal pH value, inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, and enables probiotics to proliferate in the intestine, thus achieving various health functions, including preventing constipation, reducing the burden of liver decomposition of toxins, lowering serum cholesterol, and enhancing immunity.

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