This is a question for @JamesCollier
I am wondering whether it is on the agenda (in the future) to develop a version of either the RTD and / or the Bars so that they do not include chicory root fibre, so as to make them low FODMAP? Is this even possible?
It is fantastic that Huel is gluten free, vegan, and contains no common allergens, to make the products suitable for the majority of the population. But chicory root fibre does cause significant problems for anyone with IBS or intolerance to fructans, even in tiny doses.
At the moment, the powder is the only Huel product that I can tolerate. I can’t have the granola anyway due to the gluten (but I probably wouldn’t bother with a cereal product anyway even if it was gluten free). I would however love to be able to use the Bars as occassional snacks, and the RTD as occassional convenience (plus everyone who has received them today is raving how delicious it is !!)
I think the low FODMAP and / or fructan intolerance does affect quite a lot of people.
Is there any way the products could be developed without the chicory root fibre?
I do know of some other food bars that I tolerate without problems, and I don’t know the science behind needing chicory root fibre in the Huel bars (other than it being a binder) or in the Huel RTD.
Any informative science on the need to include this particular ingredient, and the feasability of developing all Huel products to be low FODMAP in the future, would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks in advance for your time to answer this question
@bee that article you sent me on chicory root fibre and inulin was incredibly informative and helpful, thank you - it explained my intolerance to a whole variety of things that didn’t appear to make sense to me!
I’m totally happy sticking to Huel powder, I’m back on a 100% Huel powder diet, as of yesterday and loving it. But it would be really great to be able to have the bars and RTD also. I need to look up how much chicory root fibre is in the RTD… is it more than the bars? Do you know off the top of your head? (I’m lazy lol, its ok I will look and find out!)
Edit: Actually I can’t find an amount of chicory root fibre for either the bars or the RTD - @JamesCollier can you help? How many grams of this fibre is in each?
Yes it would be interesting to know how much I can tolerate. The article you linked to suggested that those with sensitivities can react to as little as 0.5-1g but anyone without digestive issues can usually tolerate upto 5-10g.
I just looked up Pulsin bars as a comparison (their brownies, and their protein bars) and I was suprised to see they also contain chicory fibre. I can tolerate Pulsin bars however (in large quantities lol), so either its a slightly different form of the fibre, or its in a much lower amount.
Edit: maybe I also need to try the Huel bars again - I only had one and the reaction put me off trying another! Also, someone else mentioned gettting digestive trouble when consuming orange juice and Huel products on the same day, and I have noticed the same coincidence… it was quite dramatic! Its possible the orange oil in the cocoa-orange bar, in addition to the chicory root fibre has caused my digestive reaction…?!
(For those who wish to read more about FODMAP, read here)
Hi @ChristinaT - the reasons for using chicory root fibre in our products are different:
In Huel Bars v2.0 and Huel Granola v1.1, chicory root fibre is used to help bind the product and make it work without using sugary syrups and having a massively high sugar level. We are exploring an alternative fibre binder and there’s one that’s very promising and should be better tolerated by sensitive individuals; however, neither product will still be low FODMAP after this - it’s just not possible. Please note that any other low sugar nutrition/sports/ protein bar on the market is also not low FODMAP - the only ones that are, contain a lot of sugar.
In Huel Ready-to-drink v1.0, chicory root fibre is used as a source of soluble fibre (as a binder is not needed, obviously). The amount of chicory root fibre in Huel RTD is a lot lower than Huel Granola and Huel Bar per calorie, plus the total fibre is lower and there are no other FODMAPs. Therefore, the risk of issues is a lot lower. (FYI 60g Granola has more chicory root fibre than one Bar).
I’m very sensitive myself and have colitis, so I’m a perfect guinea pig for this sort of thing - yep, following first trials of Huel products, I purposely over-consume them to assess reactions (on days I’m not in the office, of course!). One Bar, I’m fine, two Bars within an hour, I feel discomfort. Two RTDs back-to-back and I’m fine.
Thanks, James, for some very interesting and impressive info. Thank you for being a guinea pig on our behalf. Colitis is no fun at all As I’ve said previously, and surprisingly from what you have said, I can tolerate 60g of granola with only very mild discomfort yet eat any more than half an orange and choc Huel bar a few hours later and I get the familiar burn and gut inflation. I like Nakd bars but can react badly to some of those too. All in all though, since I started Huel I seem to be getting milder reactions than I used to. Might even chance buying some RTD to try later on
Thanks James ! That’s very helpful info.
I might actually be fine with the RTD then. I might possibly try it at some point.
I ate a choc-orange bar last night btw, only my second one. It was totally fine. I’ve had no problems with it. So that’s good news. It’s odd that I reacted the first day but maybe it was that in combination with something else I had that day. It’s often impossible to know! Anyway, im gonna keep snacking occasionally on the bars and see how I go. I’m taking one on a bike ride with me today
Tried the RTD for the first time yesterday - just the one bottle (and it took me literally all day to drink it!) but I did seem to react to the chicory root fibre @Bee have you tried the RTD? Did you react?
I’m pretty surprised it caused me problems because I’m actually okay with the v2 bars most of the time (not tried v3 yet) although I seem to be more sensitive lately so am looking forwards to moving to the v3 with reduced FODMAPs as soon as I’ve finished my last box.
@JamesCollier - it’s a few months later now, and since I asked my original question the v2 bars were replaced with v3.
So, I’m wondering are there (now / in the future) any plans to replace the chicory root fibre in the RTD with a different form of fibre to reduce the FODMAPs?
@ChristinaT yes I tried a bottle of vanilla RTD and only reacted very mildly to it. I thought it was ok tastewise (remember my runny custard comparison?) It was simple curiosity that made me buy a bottle but as I’m happy with the powder doubt I will buy any more.
Ah yes I do remember now!
Did you find the reaction worse than the bars?
The RTD didn’t seem to suit me at all.
I wouldn’t be interested in buying them frequently anyway - I do like the idea of having them as an option though for when refrigeration isn’t possible, or for when they come out in high street stores so i could buy an emergency lunch.
Strangely I’ve become more intolerant of FODMAPs over the last few months. I used to be okay with garlic, and a little bit of onion, but have to avoid both completely now.
I think maybe it’s related to a pastry binge I had a while ago though
I’m caeliac but every now and then I convince myself that it’s all in my head and I’ll be fine with cake and pizza and croissants
And then I suffer for months after.
A caeliac flare up will cause my IBS to become much worse for months after.
I am so silly.
I don’t learn
Lol I am just the same, I couldn’t resist a KFC chicken fillet tower burger meal on Wednesday god it was lovely and boy did I suffer after. Tried some Warburtons gluten free bread today it’s just not the same. My head and energy levels are so much better without Gluten.
Hi @ChristinaT - as part of our RTD ongoing development, @EllaOfficialHuel and I are looking at all fibre options but we need to consider what’s best. If, say, we were to use the soluble-gluco fibre used in Bar v3.0, it is better tolerated by most, but to bear in mind it’s still a FODMAP - there are no low-FODMAP options available, only lower options.
Thanks for your reply @JamesCollier
Similar to my experience with the bars - my first one caused a bad reaction, but subsequent ones not so much.
It also seems to depend on what else I eat / drink that day.
I’m pleased to report that I had two RTDs and one bar and a 4 scoop shake yesterday (was out walking all day) and I didn’t have an IBS flare up.
I’ll be interested to try the v3 bars to see if they are even better tolerated.
Having tolerated the RTDs okay yesterday, my more important plea is for there to be some versions without sucralose (maybe stevia instead?) or a lovely bitter dark chocolate version.
Both the berry and vanilla are sooooo sweet they are undrinkable without adding water and cacao - which I was happy to do, but only because I planned ahead!
It’s well-known that people have different taste-buds and those of us who find sucralose crazy teeth-on-edge sweet all have to mix the powders with UU to make it ‘better’.
In my experience, all the flavoured premixes and RTDs cater to people who like strong sweet flavours.
Maybe you can pass my feedback on to the product development team ?
It would be really nice to have some blander / less sweet options eg dark chocolate premix which has stevia and cacao - for those of us that prefer the bitter to the sweet…
Hi @ChristinaT - we are continually looking at other sweetener options. However, currently, they just don’t work. It’s not as simple as swapping sucralose with stevia. There’s always work going on with sweeteners as we realise some people don’t like sucralose.
But UU plus the huel flavour boost sachets plus cacao = heaven (IMO!)
I was pleasantly surprised to find that sucralose didn’t cause bad physical reactions that I get to most artificial sweeteners and science currently indicates it’s the ‘better’ of what is currently available.
It’s just the taste I can’t cope with it.
From numerous other posts on the forum I see this as quite a common problem - although most of us simply use UU and add our own cacao or coffee, or mix the UU with the flavoured versions.
Bit trickier with the RTD though.
Edit: I appreciate what you’re saying though - it’s just not a simple process at all, to find the perfect recipe. And no flavour will ever please everyone. I’d just like to see one option catered towards those of us that prefer it less sweet