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OptiBiotix Health Plc, a life sciences company that develops compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes, offers a healthy alternative to refined sugar with a zero-calorie prebiotic sweetener, SweetBiotix.

While the food and beverage industry faces difficult decisions following the UK government’s recent introduction of levies on sugary drinks, also termed ‘the sugar tax’, SweetBiotix presents manufacturers with an advantageous solution to the backlash against sucrose.

Stephen O’Hara, OptiBiotix CEO, said “At the forefront of nutraceutical product development, OptiBiotix anticipated the growth in concerns about refined sugar several years ago and began developing a clean, calorie-free sweet fibre.

“By replacing refined sugar with SweetBiotix, manufacturers can respond positively to the tax and avoid the dilemma of passing the price changes on to customers or losing profits by shouldering the burden themselves. It really is a win-win solution for both the industry and the public, turning a potential manufacturing threat into an opportunity for companies to improve the nation’s health.”

Posing no weight gain effects, SweetBiotix is composed of naturally sweet fibres that are not digested in the gut, making it free from calories. Despite its guilt-free credentials, SweetBiotix nonetheless offers delicious taste similar to sucrose and was found in a University of Reading study to have with low off-flavours and taste ‘significantly sweeter’ than other existing sweeteners and sugars. It is therefore ideally suited to work as a bulk sugar replacement in functional food and beverage formulations.

SweetBiotix’s prebiotic composition furthermore enables the product to promote wider wellbeing by encouraging microbiome diversity, supporting the body’s microbial activity and delivering better health from the gut outwards.