Chicory (Cichorium intybus sativum) is a locally grown plant at the core of the Belgian gastronomy. Originating from the Mediterranean region, it was already cultivated 5000 years ago for its health-boosting properties. Well anchored in traditional diet, it was first used as a coffee substitute.
Today, chicory root is mainly cultivated for its inulin content, known as chicory root fibre. More than 36,000 fruits and plants contain inulin, their natural energy reserve material. But chicory root has the highest concentration of inulin with over 17%. Inulin extracted from chicory root is a soluble dietary fibre that can be used in food processing and that has many beneficial effects on nutrition and health.