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What are FODMAPS and How Do They Help?

March 28, 2018

With increased awareness of the role diet plays in disease management, researchers are investigating the ways what we eat results in our quality of life. In the past, this emphasis has been placed on life-threatening disease such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.  Now researchers are focusing on diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which is not life threatening but negatively impacts a person’s quality of life.

Doctors have long known that certain ingredients such as lactose in milk and other dairy products can cause IBS symptoms. However, a lactose-free diet rarely relieved the symptoms of IBS.

Researchers at Monash University were able to compile information on the role of saccharides in exacerbating IBS symptoms.  What they found was that sugar-based foods such as Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols or FODMAPs were all contributing to IBS symptoms.  On the basis of these findings, they put together the low FODMAP diet.

The regimen begins with sufferers avoiding all FODMAPs. After a period of time, people systematically reintroduce foods to determine which ones contain the sugar molecules that can be tolerated and which can cause IBS symptoms.

To assist consumers, both Monash University and the FODMAP Friendly program (headed up by a former Monash researcher) offer food companies a FODMAP certification process. As an example, one food product certified as low in FODMAPs is Nestle’s ProNourish™ nutritional drink.

As science finds greater details on the effects of various foods on a person’s wellbeing, will food companies start to provide personalized foods to consumers? Will technologies such as AI and 3D printing provide food companies with the capability to personalize diets?

If you are interested in the technologies and research that are furthering healthy diet trends, please contact us.  We have been following the development of new technologies that are changing the food industry since our founding in 1979. To discuss your interests and needs, Contact:

Sandra E Erb
Vice President
(703) 531-0247