Anaheim, CA (March 23, 2006) – In a presentation given at the Healthy Baking Seminar in conjunction with Natural Products Expo West, Rhonda Witwer, Business Manager, Nutrition for National Starch Food Innovation urged the baking industry to help close the fiber gap by developing high-fiber, health-promoting functional bakery products that focus on specific consumer demands for healthier eating. Ms. Witwer reviewed the benefits of natural high amylose corn resistant starch and the ease with which this ingredient – the subject of numerous nutritional and clinical trials demonstrating specific health benefits – can be incorporated into a wide range of baked goods. Adding Hi-maize® to baked goods offers manufacturers the opportunity to go beyond fiber nutrient content claims to maximize the appeal of their breads, muffins, tortillas and other baked goods.
According to Ms. Witwer, increasing the intake of dietary fiber is a public health issue in the United States: “Today, there exists a fiber gap in the diets of almost all consumers. In the United States, for example, we consume between 14 to 17 grams of fiber on an average per day. At the same time, the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for fiber is nearly twice that amount. For a 2,000 calorie diet, the RDI for fiber is 28 grams. For a 2,500 calorie diet, the RDI is 35 grams. It is pretty clear that we all need to do a better job of getting fiber into our diets,” she said. She pointed out that consumers have become aware of the fiber gap and claim to seek fiber-fortified products when they are at the grocery store. “Recent research shows that 31% of U.S. consumers are increasing their use of fiber. This is higher, for example, for the first time, than their commitment to increasing calcium. Nearly 40% of all consumers consider fiber label claims to be ‘extremely’ or ‘very important’ when they are selecting foods. This data points the way for an opportunity for consumer food companies. Marketing the particular benefits of specific fibers is even stronger. Products that make a particular benefit claim on their packaging have a concerned and active audience,” she added.
More than just fiber for the consumer
Research has shown a number of other health issues that rank high among consumer concerns that are related to natural resistant starch benefits. These include glycemic management, weight management, energy management and digestive health. A number of human clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of natural RS2 resistant starch as a health-promoting carbohydrate in these areas. In fact, over 120 studies have been conducted on natural RS2 resistant starch for these related areas. Said Ms. Witwer, “Even when consumers are not that interested in increasing fiber in their diets, they are tuning into specific health benefits that can be addressed through the addition of natural resistant starch. For example, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is an area that is very important to consumers. Healthy blood sugar levels, or glycemic management, could very well be the next big consumer claim, rivaling cholesterol for ‘share of mind’.” Ms. Witwer also discussed the role of natural RS2 resistant starch in energy, weight management and digestive health.
Resistant starch helps close the fiber gap in bakery products
According to Ms. Witwer, one of the most promising approaches to increasing fiber in bakery products is through the use of natural resistant starch. In particular, RS2 resistant starch, marketed by National Starch Food Innovation as Hi-maize® 5-in-1 Fiber, delivers the fiber benefit in products that will meet consumer demands for proven benefits combined with great-taste and that still fit with the current manufacturing practices of the industry. “Consumers are demanding taste, health and convenience in the products they select. Hi-maize® 5-in-1 Fiber can act as a virtual drop-in replacement for at least 25% of the amount of flour used in baked goods, delivering the unique benefits of resistant starch and fiber in products that consumers will love. At this level, the Hi-maize® does not affect the taste or texture of a baked product – as many other types of fiber supplementation will. In addition, Hi-maize® has excellent functional characteristics in a food formulation,” she added.
About National Starch Food Innovation
National Starch Food Innovation is a leading global supplier of nature-based functional and nutritional ingredient solutions to the food and beverage industries. The company has a strong focus on delivering innovation to meet market and consumer trends in wholesome and natural, texture, nutrition, wellness, vitality and targeted delivery solutions. This vision, combined with an extensive, award-winning product range, market knowledge and technical expertise, makes National Starch Food Innovation a partner of choice for the next generation of food producers.
In the area of human nutrition, National Starch Food Innovation has led the development of a commercially available form of high amylose corn resistant starch, known as Hi-maize® 5-in-1 Fiber. Today Hi-maize® is the only natural RS2 resistant starch available in a commercial form for use in processed and prepared foods. There is substantial research on the health benefits of natural resistant starches from high amylose corn, including more than 120 published, peer-reviewed studies in the areas of glycemic management, energy management, weight management and digestive health.
For more information on Hi-maize® and National Starch Food Innovation, visit www.foodinnovation.com.