Gelita is introducing Optibar, an ingredient that allows manufacturers to create future-proof, next generation bars that satisfy two of the most important consumer trends. Optibar allows more protein to be delivered in functional bars with a long-lasting, soft and indulgent texture. It also acts as a sugar-free binder, enabling "low sugar" and "no sugar" claims in cereal bars.

Optibar is a specific blend of collagen peptides optimized for bar production. It has excellent solubility, so it creates pleasantly smooth bars with an indulgent mouthfeel that lasts throughout their shelf life – even at very high protein levels of as much as 60%. For best results, Gelita recommends using Optibar together with whey or plant-based protein: Whey and plant proteins add structure, while Optibar ensures homogeneity, a pleasant bite, and long-lasting softness. 

As well as enabling protein enrichment, Optibar can also be used as a sugar-free binder in cereal bars. Thus, the sugar content can be minimized and appropriate "low sugar" or "no sugar" claims can be made in bars that stay crunchy throughout their shelf life.

Versatile and efficient

The versatile collagen peptides powder is the latest addition to the company’s portfolio of naturally functional branded collagen peptide ingredients. Derived by enzymatic hydrolysis of natural collagen, Optibar has good bioavailability and its neutral taste makes it ideal for both sweet and savory bars. It is easy to customize with flavors, sweeteners, colorants, and dietary fibers, and it combines well with other nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, and ingredients such as dried fruits and cereals. 

Being completely natural, Optibar is non-GMO and free from E-numbers, so it is ideal for clean-label products with potential nutritional claims (under EU Regulation 1924/2006) including "source of protein," "high protein," "reduced sugar," "low sugar," and "sugar free." 

Easy processing

Unlike traditional cereal bar binders, with Optibar, there is no need for boiling. It is simply warmed with water and oil to 70° C then the dry ingredients are added and the mass is molded. Optibar can be used in existing production lines without the need for additional equipment and its agglomerated form guarantees dust-free handling. Overall, using Optibar leads to lower energy requirements, reduced processing costs, less thermal stress on sensitive ingredients and a lower environmental impact.

“As a pioneer in collagen and collagen peptides, we are excited by the opportunities our latest innovative ingredient presents for bar manufacturers,” says Natalie Leuwer, Gelita category manager, food specialties. “We look forward to discussing how Optibar can be used in practice to satisfy consumer demand for next generation bars that are higher in protein, lower in sugar, and ultimately delicious, too."

Related: Gelita to present at Fi Europe 2023