In this case study, a global ingredients company engaged CPL Business Consultants to review the markets for bulking agents in order to inform its strategic planning process. CPL provided insights which allowed the client to make strategic decisions with a high degree of confidence. 


Low-calorie bulking agents have acquired a number of more useful roles and more attractive names in the past 10-20 years. Inulin, polydextrose, resistant starch and similar products which were once low-calorie bulking agents became, inter alia, fat substitutes, texturising ingredients and are now often ‘soluble dietary fibres’, known to be good for health and, in many cases, prebiotic, bifidogenic, etc. Cellulose is a non-soluble dietary fibre but is mostly used for its physical properties.

Cellulose derivatives have a variety of uses, e.g. in food. Hydrocolloids can also be used as low-calorie bulking agents in many foods. Beta-glucan is of interest to many food producers as a bulking agent and also has a number of additional selling properties.

Bulking agents give the mouthfeel qualities of sugar and fat but without the sweet taste. For example, they can be carbohydrate-based, protein-based or fat-based. Hydrocolloids, e.g. pectin, gelatin, xanthan, gellan, algin, guar, konjac, locust bean and inulin, can all function as fat replacers.

Some of the cellulose and gum products used as fat replacers also have soluble and insoluble fibre properties. As soluble fibres, they may also have the added advantage of reducing blood cholesterol levels and lowering the glycaemic response.

CPL’s report

CPL’s report examined products and applications for bulking agents in foods, including manufacturers (e.g. JRS and Tate & Lyle). The aim was to provide a roadmap for opportunities in this area. CPL has also worked on many other projects concerning bulking agents; please fill out the Register Interest form or contact CPL for further details.

You can click here for a PDF of the contents of the study or look below for an outline.

Bulking Agents Review

Soluble Fibres

  • Markets & Trends
  • Manufacturers & Products

Dietary Fibres – Claims and Examples

  • Health Claims
  • Bulking Agents from Starch, Hydrocolloids, Proteins & Mixed


  • Uses
  • Potential Applications


  • Inulin vs FOS
  • Application and Claims

Cellulose and Derivatives

  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Properties and Advantages
    • Overview
    • Food and Beverages
    • Petfood
    • Cosmetics
    • Pharmaceuticals and Health Supplements
  • Applications
    • Food & Beverages
    • Petfood
    • Cosmetics
    • Pharmaceuticals & Health Supplements
    • Supermarket Product Survey in the UK
    • Supermarket Product Survey in Canada
  • MCC
  • CMC
  • Manufacturers


  • 8 Companies

Resistant Starch

  • 4 Companies & Products



24 Tables

CPL has worked on many relevant projects related to bulking agents including e.g. on inulin and hydrocolloids. Have a look at our Introduction and Brochure for a description of our consultancy work.

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