Fazer answers to the growing oat boom, Finnish super oats – for the well-being of your entire body
Oats are a “supergrain” and a good source of diverse nutrients. The EU has approved four health claims applicable to oats and related to heart health, cholesterol control, blood glucose and digestive health. Fazer has now secured a licence to an invention developed and patented by VTT.* This Finnish innovation allows healthy and valuable ingredients to be extracted from oats, including oat beta-glucan, oat protein and oat oil.
"We at Fazer believe in Finnish oats and want to respond to the growing oat boom. Oats are a genuine superfood," says Markku Mikkola, R&D Manager for Fazer Mill & Mixes.
Fazer is now adding a new chapter to the success story of Finnish oats. Thanks to the new technology, Fazer Mill & Mixes can extract valuable ingredients from oats. The higher nutrient content of these ingredients makes it easier to include them in various consumer products.
"Fazer's new processed oats can be used in heart-healthy snack bars, for instance, as well as in biscuits, dairy products, breads and dietary supplements, not to mention as a raw material in the cosmetics industry. Finnish oat protein is also good news for people looking for a domestic source of plant protein for their diets," says Mikkola.
The mild taste of oats appeals to most of us
"Oats are an awesome grain that very seldom causes allergies. They are suitable for most people, including those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, which affects up to 10%–15% of Finnish people," says Hanna Partanen, a licensed dietitian with an M.Sc. in the field of health care.
Finland is the biggest exporting country of food and special oats in Europe. Research into food with health effects began in the 1990s. Oats were discovered to contain many qualities that promote well-being.
Oats have plenty of excellent qualities and their use could be expanded. "Oats contain an abundance of soluble fibres, help to maintain balanced blood glucose levels and may also decrease cholesterol levels. Compared to other grains, the amino acid consistency of oats is more diverse. Oats are also a good source of various minerals and important vitamins in the E and B groups. We in Finland are pioneers when it comes to studies concerning oats," says Partanen.
Health claims applicable to oats in the EU
1st claim**: The beta-glucan in oats helps maintain normal blood cholesterol levels.
2nd claim**: Consuming the beta-glucan in oats as part of a meal helps to limit the increase in blood glucose levels after the meal and evens out major fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
3rd claim***: The beta-glucan in oats reduces blood cholesterol, which in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
4th claim**: The fibre in oat grains promotes digestion. Oats increase the amount of mass passing through the digestive system, thereby facilitating intestinal movement. Good digestion maintains health and helps prevents digestive diseases.
* VTT partnered with the Natural Resources Institution Finland (Luke)
** based on a health claim approved by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority)/Article 13
** based on a health claim approved by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority)/Article 14
Further information about health claims applicable to oats:
See also: A cutting edge innovation to boost oat exports [Link]
Link to pictures: www.fazergroup.com/pictures, ”media_press”, ”Fazer Mylly”
For more information, please contact:
Markku Mikola, R&D Manager, Fazer Mill & Mixes, tel. +358 44 710 8866
Contact person at Communications:
Heljä Martikainen, Senior Manager, Internal Communications, Fazer Group, tel. +358 40 848 8454
Email addresses are in the format forename.surname(at)fazer.com