‘The Cadillac of fibers…’ Upcycled ingredients startup Comet-Bio gears up for commercial launch of arabinoxylan prebiotic fiber

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“Arabinoxylanispresent in things like psyllium husks, but no one has been able to isolate it on a cost-effective basis as it’s attached to other things, which means you don’t get the specific benefits,” ​said Rich Troyer, CEO at Comet Bio​, which can upcycled feedstocks from brewer’s spent grains to wheat straw and other crop leftovers as its source materials to make dietary fibers and sweeteners.

“No one else that we are aware of ​is making an arabinoxylan dietary fiber product ​[on an industrial scale], although people have been looking at it for a long time,” ​he told FoodNavigator-USA.

“We call it the Cadillac of fibers, and there’s a lot of publicly available clinical data that we’ve used to support structure function claims, but we also conducted our own clinical trial.* This was primarily to show safety and digestive tolerability, but as a secondary endpoint, we studied microbiome impacts and saw a nice selective increase in beneficial bacteria.”

The company – which is based in Canada and has a US headquarters in Chicago and demo-scale facilities in Italy –  ​is “now producing arabinoxylan in small batch commercial scale ​[in Italy], in order to get product into customers’ hands,” ​said Troyer. “And we now have access to a large commercial facility in a wheat-growing region in Europe where we can produce thousands of tons.”

“That should be fully up and running in the second quarter of next year,” ​added Troyer, who says the ingredient (brand name Arrabina​) is self-determined GRAS ​[with an FDA submission likely down the road]. In Canada we filed for a novel food application, and we’ll do something similar in Europe.”

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