"Stealth fibre" increasingly added to processed foods, while not a problem for most, can cause gastrointestinal discomfort for some who may not know they're consuming too much of it, Minnesota researchers warn. The fibre is called "inulin".
Inulin is a carbohydrate fibre that occurs naturally in many foods like bananas, wheat, onions and garlic. Found in high concentrations in chicory root, is can be extracted for industrial use. Unlike more familiar carbohydrates, which are broken down in the small intestines and turned into fuel for the body, inulin passes through the small intestines to the colon where it stimulates the growth of "good bacteria" and is fermented by bacteria. In some people it can cause gas, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhoea.