The company claims its site, designed to be an educational resource, will offer 'scientifically based information' on carbohydrate nutrition to counter the challenges posed by recently published studies.
Research out this year suggested that limiting carbohydrate intake in the diet and replacing it with high protein content is effective in reducing body fat and weight. This has triggered a large following of the Atkins diet, invented by American guru Robert Atkins, but increasingly popular in the UK. The impact of the trend is already being felt by the bread industry and other food makers but experts warn that long-term research has not yet been conducted to assess potential damage done by this diet.
National Starch's new website has been designed to educate dietitians, nutritionists and health professionals, as well as food manufacturers and consumers, about different forms of carbohydrates and their role in the diet. It gives comprehensive explanations on the health benefits of carbohydrates for gut health, weight control and energy management.
Studies continue to show the value of wholegrain fibre for heart health and reducing weight and many carbohydrate fibres can have prebiotic properties for gut health.
The company also includes recipes and formulations using its carbohydrate-based ingredients, such as high amylose maize resistant starch Hi-maize in foods suitable for carbohydrate-conscious consumers. Users can access technical data sheets, request samples and conduct searches or use the dictionary to obtain definitions of nutrition terminology.
Earlier this month National Starch announced a set of price increases for its products for next year, triggered by pressure on Europe's cereal supply among other things. Significant increases in raw material costs have already put pressure on the company's margins, taking a toll on owner ICI's yearly profits.