Fiber is a hot trend. Securing a fiber content claim is relatively straightforward. Going beyond a basic fiber claim will provide differentiation, but it requires careful selection of the specific dietary fiber.
One fiber that merits renewed attention is Hi-maize® resistant starch from National Starch Food Innovation. New clinical trials have shown that Hi-maize impacts metabolism and blood sugar in ways that other fibers may not, explains Rhonda Witwer, senior business development manager of nutrition at National Starch.
Hi-maize, a propriety RS2 resistant starch, is a natural, insoluble dietary fiber from corn. It has been shown (in more than 70 clinical trials over 20 years) to positively impact health. With regards to weight and metabolism, five specific mechanisms have recently been demonstrated, says Witwer. Like other fiber, it is lower in caloric content and has a low glycemic response. However, unlike other fibers, three additional mechanisms are specific to this proprietary RS2 resistant starch fermentation:
1. Insulin sensitivity. Three published human clinical trials have shown that Hi-maize resistant starch significantly increases insulin sensitivity. High levels of insulin prevent fat from being used as energy and promote fat deposition--thus, reducing circulating insulin levels is beneficial for weight control. 2. Lipid oxidation. One human study found that when the consumption of 5.4% of the carbohydrates were Hi-maize resistant starch in breakfast foods, healthy individuals burned 23% more fat in the next 24 hours. 3. Satiety. Animal studies have shown that the fermentation of Hi-maize resistant starch turns on the genes in the large intestine that make satiety hormones GLP-1 and PYY. Cellulose had no effect in the same model (see chart “Satiety Hormone Levels”). Because Hi-maize ferments slowly, these satiety hormones stay elevated for 24 hours or more. Human studies have shown that people are less hungry the next day, after they have eaten foods containing this proprietary RS2 resistant starch. Finally, a separate study found that people eating Hi-maize resistant starch consumed fewer calories in the next 24 hours (see chart “Eating Less”).
This natural proprietary RS2 resistant starch produces more butyrate than other fibers, throwing into question whether other fibers and other resistant starches could offer similar benefits. To make these claims, one has to use Hi-maize resistant starch from high-amylose corn, which has been proven to deliver these benefits, says Witwer. NS