National Starch Food Innovation has launched what it claims to be the most comprehensive source of information on resistant starch, designed to provide an easy reference base for nutrition experts.
The US starch firm said its new website, ResistantStarch.com, fills an information gap by bringing together an extensive collection of resources on the ingredient, including the latest research and publications.
"While resistant starch has always appeared hidden in foods such as unprocessed whole grains, legumes and potato salad, it is only recently that the scientific community has begun to understand more about the health benefits made possible by consuming resistant starch," said National Starch.
Resistant starch (RS) is so called because of its ability to resist digestion in the small intestine, unlike most other starches. Instead, RS passes through to the large intestine where it acts like dietary fiber and improves digestive health.
Resistant starch occurs naturally in foods such as unripe bananas and cooked and cooled potatoes, but commercially produced RS ingredients have started to appear on the market in order to allow food manufacturers to incorporate the ingredient into their products.
This has provided the industry with another means to tap into opportunities gleaned from the growing trend for health and wellness foods, with resistant starch fitting squarely into the low-glycemic food trend, as well as health product positionings such as prebiotic fiber and healthy digestive system claims.
Indeed, according to National Starch, the last few years have witnessed a "significant increase" in interest for RS. The firm markets its Hi-Maize corn-derived insoluble fiber product on five key benefits: a low calorie count, a good digestive tolerance, a promotion of digestive health, an ability to help balance energy after a meal, and an ability to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
"As people begin to look toward options for more healthful foods, resistant starch has emerged as one of the food industry's most exciting options to deliver the health benefits of fiber plus a series of benefits unique to resistant starch, all while delivering great taste and texture," said the firm's business development manager for nutrition Rhonda Witwer.
"This last point is critical for the success in promoting healthy eating. Despite our best efforts, people still rate taste and convenience as their top concerns when picking something to eat. With an ingredient like resistant starch, we can achieve these and get them eating more healthfully," she added.
To access ResistantStarch.com, click here .