View the German version of this article exist Science spectrum.
Have you heard of inulin? Even if you don’t have it, you may have eaten it.
It is a naturally occurring form of dietary fiber.
You can find it in various fruits, vegetables, and herbs, including wheat, onions, bananas, leeks, artichokes, and asparagus.
It is said that cooking itself is actually just a chemical reaction-and for inulin, the chemical reaction gives it an amazing ability to cook in a range of foods.
Inulin belongs to a class of dietary fibers called fructans.
It helps plants store energy and usually exists in their roots.
In fact, most of the inulin used in our food is extracted from the roots of the chicory plant: this fiber accounts for 15% to 20% of the chicory root.
The roots are harvested, sliced and washed.
Inulin is extracted during the diffusion process using hot water. Then it is purified and dried.
Sugars, such as glucose, fructose and sucrose, account for 6% to 10% of this finished powder.
Like any dietary fiber, once inulin is consumed, it will not be broken down by the body or absorbed by the stomach.
It passes through the stomach and enters the small intestine, combines with water and swells. This makes people feel full.
Some small studies have shown that inulin has the potential to treat obesity and weight loss in patients with prediabetes.
Bacteria in the intestine can use this substance to grow.
Inulin supports the growth of a special type of bacteria related to improving intestinal function and overall health. Research is ongoing.
Scientists also show that inulin is a generally safe ingredient in food, although like any dietary fiber, higher doses can cause intestinal discomfort.
But you should not treat inulin as the same thing. There are variants of inulin, defined by their structure.
The long-chain inulin has a creamy taste without sweetness, while the short-chain inulin has a slightly sweet taste.
There are also mixtures.
Long-chain inulin is suitable as a substitute for fat thickeners. Short-chain inulin can be used as a sweetener.
Inulin can be used in hot and cold dishes without breaking down, so they are widely used in the kitchen.
They can reproduce the characteristics of dairy or egg products.
Therefore, foods containing inulin are suitable for vegetarians and people who are intolerant to eggs or milk.
Starch substances are used in granola and baked goods to increase fiber. They are even found in juices and sausages.
In some yogurts, inulin can replace fat.
Inulin is also used to make ice cream.
They make it smooth, prevent crystallization and reduce fat content.
In cakes and biscuits, inulin is used as a binder.
But inulin is not only found in convenience foods.
Have you ever ordered a rich chocolate ganache-or a dessert with light orange cream?
Inulin may be a key ingredient in any of these cuisines.
From the restaurant to the table, inulin has become a part of your diet, but some people don’t know it.
But now it is a kind of science-explanation.