Added ß-glucan as a source of fibre for consumers: Dissertation

Marika Lyly

Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles


The intake of dietary fibre does not currently meet the recommendations in many Western countries, and it is important to find new ways to increase its intake. ß-glucan is a good option for fibre enrichment, because of its proven capability to reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels and balance blood glucose and insulin response after meals. The general aim of this thesis was to investigate whether providing foods enriched with ß-glucan would be a feasible strategy for improving consumers' dietary fibre intake. The results showed that Finnish respondents considered dietary fibre important for their health, although it was not spontaneously mentioned as an element of a health-promoting diet. A group of respondents overestimated their dietary fibre intake compared to their actual intake. This misperception can be an obstacle to improving the quality of the diet. Adding oat and barley ß-glucan into beverages and ready-to-eat soups affected their sensory characteristics by making them thicker and suppressing some flavour attributes with increasing concentrations of ß-glucan. Low molecular weight ß-glucan was easier to add into products at higher concentrations compared to high molecular weight ß-glucan as regards the lower viscosity-producing capability and thus more feasible sensory characteristics. However, attention should also be paid to the importance of the high molecular weight of ß-glucan in terms of its physiological efficacy. Freezing did not affect the sensory characteristics of soups containing ß-glucan. Connecting a health claim to beverages and soups with added ß-glucan increased their perceived benefit value, but liking for the products was the strongest determinant for the willingness to use them. It does not seem likely that consumers would be ready to pay much extra for functional beverages and soups. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that Finnish consumers perceive fibre to be important for their health. Beverages and soups with added ß-glucan were feasible regarding their sensory properties and thus would be potential carrier products for added ß-glucan. Liking for the products was the most important factor affecting the consumers' willingness to use these foods.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor Degree
Awarding Institution
  • University of Helsinki
  • Lähteenmäki, Liisa, Supervisor, External person
  • Poutanen, Kaisa, Supervisor
Award date3 Mar 2006
Place of PublicationEspoo
Print ISBNs951-38-6700-5
Electronic ISBNs951-38-6701-3
Publication statusPublished - 2006
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • dietary fibres
  • ß-glucans
  • fibre enrichment
  • consumer acceptance
  • functional foods
  • probiotics
  • beverages
  • soups
  • sensory quality
  • healthy diet


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