RNS & Investor News

SweetBiotix® development: Results of further human taste studies

23 January 2018

OptiBiotix Health plc (AIM: OPTI), a life sciences business developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes, announces successful human taste studies in its SweetBiotix® product development programmes. The Company has a number of development programmes designed to:-

  1. Develop natural high intensity sweeteners (HIS) with improved flavour profile and microbiome modulating functionality. OptiBiotix announced on July 11th 2017 that it had succeeded in developing customised oligosaccharides demonstrating good flavour profile and sweetness of between 140X and 223X that of sucrose at equivalent concentrations.
  2. Develop sweet natural healthy fibres which are not digested in the human gut, and hence calorie free. These sweet fibres have been developed as potential bulk sugar replacements as a product which has sweetness similar to sucrose but contain no calories, and improve microbiome diversity.

This announcement reports on human taste studies carried out on OptiBiotix's sweet healthy natural fibres compared to existing sugars and prebiotics. The studies were performed by The Flavour and Sensory Science Centre at the University of Reading and tested eight samples (including OptiBiotix's test sample) using an expert panel of 11 experienced panellists who rated 11 attributes compared to sucrose. The tests showed:-

  • Of the 11 attributes rated, eight were significantly different between samples. The most substantial differences were in sweet taste, strength of off-flavour and sweet after taste.
  • The sweet oligosaccharide developed by OptiBiotix was significantly sweeter than all other samples and low in all off-flavours (e.g. bitterness, sourness, staleness, saltiness etc).

The results of this independent study provide proof of product concept for natural, low calorie, sweet healthy fibres with gut microbiome functionality as potential bulk sugar replacement in a wide range of food products.

Given the global sweetener market, currently dominated by sugar, is forecast to reach $112bn by 2022 (Mordor Intelligence, 2017), the Company is filing additional patents to add a further layer of protection to the existing intellectual property portfolio to protect its inventions and fully exploit the commercial potential with suitable industry partners.

Stephen O'Hara, CEO of OptiBiotix, commented: "We are pleased with the results of this study which showed OptiBiotix's sweet oligosaccharide had the highest sweetness and was low in off-flavours when compared to a wide range of existing sugars and prebiotics. This development creates the potential to replace existing 'unhealthy' sugars with low calorie, healthy non-digestible fibres (SweetBiotix®) with gut microbiome functionality. With growing concerns over the impact on health of traditional sugars and artificial sweeteners, the ability to develop sweet functional fibres puts OptiBiotix at the forefront of product development in this area of growing industry and commercial interest."


For further information, please contact:

OptiBiotix Health Plc
Stephen O'Hara, Chief Executive
Contact via Walbrook below
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP
Liam Murray / Jo Turner
Tel: 020 7213 0880
finnCap Broker
Adrian Hargrave / Scott Mathieson / Kate Bannatyne (Corporate Finance)
Tony Quirke (Corporate Broking)
Tel: 020 7220 0500
Walbrook PR Ltd
Anna Dunphy
Tel: 020 7933 8780 or [email protected]
Mob: 07876 741 001


About OptiBiotix - www.optibiotix.com

OptiBiotix was formed in March 2012 to develop compounds which modify the human microbiome - the collective genome of the microbes in the body - to prevent and manage human disease.

The aim of OptiBiotix is to discover and develop microbial strains, compounds and formulations, which modulate the human microbiome and can be used as food ingredients and supplements or active compounds for the prevention and management of human metabolic diseases, examples of which include obesity, cholesterol and lipid distribution and diabetes.

OptiBiotix has established a pipeline of microbiome modulators that can impact on lipid and cholesterol management, energy harvest and appetite suppression. The development pipeline is fuelled by its proprietary OptiScreen® and OptiBiotic® platform technologies designed to identify metabolic pathways and compounds that impact on human physiology and bring potential health benefits. These platforms are applicable across a wider range of other human diseases.