Scientists have transformed native starches, similar to cassava, wheat and maize, to dietary fiber that may be added to meals to make them more healthy with out altering their texture, shade or style.
Researchers at RMIT College labored with Microtec Engineering Group, a technology-based engineering firm that provides starch processing tools, to develop the starch-based product, referred to as FiberX, which resists digestion within the human intestine, similar to fiber.
Not solely is FiberX clean and tasteless, nevertheless it’s additionally appropriate for fortifying low-calorie and low-GI meals and could be gluten free, or for including to low-fiber meals similar to white bread, desserts, pasta, pizza and sauces to make them more healthy.
Mission lead from RMIT’s Meals Analysis and Innovation Centre, Affiliate Professor Asgar Farahnaky, and his staff used superior starch modification know-how with authorised meals grade supplies to create what they describe as ‘invisible fiber’.
“We are able to now add additional fiber to meals like white bread and different staples with out altering the style or texture, which has been one of many important points with many commercially-available fiber dietary supplements to this point,” he stated.
“Our product just isn’t even noticeable as soon as added. It is similar to a guardian hiding greens in a baby’s meal to make it extra nutritious.”
The significance of fiber
Fiber is a kind of carbohydrate that isn’t digested within the human intestine and might help enhance the well being and performance of our digestive system. It may additionally assist forestall weight problems, sort 2 diabetes and scale back the chance elements of some cardiovascular illnesses.
Growing the fiber content material of meals merchandise by greater than 10-20% whereas additionally sustaining nice style and texture is a problem throughout the meals trade. Present meals with added fiber can have a tricky texture or completely different taste to the unique product.
As a part of the analysis, Farahnaky’s staff carried out style assessments and texture evaluation on bread and desserts with various quantities of added FiberX. They discovered they had been in a position so as to add as much as 20% fiber to meals whereas sustaining the unique style and texture of the product.
“This new know-how means we will enhance the quantity of fiber that goes into the meals so we will obtain our really helpful every day consumption, even whereas consuming much less meals, which has potential to assist with weight administration and diabetes,” he stated.
How does it work?
Co-researcher and Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Analysis Fellow, Dr Mahsa Majzoobi, stated the construction of starch was modified on a molecular stage and examined to see the way it reacted with digestive enzymes.
“As soon as the resistant starch goes by means of this course of, it must have excessive ranges of resistance to be counted as a profitable conversion to dietary fiber,” she stated.
Utilizing this new know-how, the staff can convert greater than 80% of starch into dietary fiber, Majzoobi stated.
FiberX was examined utilizing internationally authorised strategies at RMIT and the accredited Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre.
Farahnaky stated his staff at the moment are trying on the subsequent section of FiberX know-how, which is able to use inexperienced options to transform starch to fiber.
Decreasing meals waste
Farahnaky stated past the well being advantages, FiberX know-how additionally had the potential to enhance supply-chain challenges, scale back meals waste and enhance native jobs.
Australia at present exports massive quantities of grain for creating value-added merchandise, similar to plant-based meat. We then need to import these merchandise again to Australia and anticipate them if there are delays within the provide chain, as we noticed with COVID,” Farahnaky stated.
“As an alternative of rising and exporting extra grains, we ought to be utilizing current grains to create value-added merchandise right here in Australia.”
To do that, Microtec and RMIT’s Meals Analysis and Innovation Heart have additionally partnered with Struggle
Meals Waste Cooperative Analysis Heart to cease starch and fiber-rich by-products of plant protein manufacturing from going to waste.
Australia at present produces 5,000 tons of pulse protein a yr, which generates 30,000 tons of waste.
Farahnaky stated by processing this waste into dry pulse starch, FiberX know-how can convert the starch to fiber on a big scale.
“Not solely will this partnership assist scale back meals waste on a large scale, however it’ll result in creating new premium meals merchandise which can be excessive in dietary fiber,” he stated.
Prepared for growth
With the assistance of Microtec, FiberX know-how is now prepared for the meals trade to make use of for large-scale manufacturing of dietary fiber.
“This new know-how will allow the manufacturing of dietary fiber utilizing a cost- and energy-effective course of at a big scale,” Farahnaky stated.
“Scaling this know-how will imply the meals trade may have entry to massive portions of invisible dietary fiber at an inexpensive worth to offer high-fiber meals to shoppers.”
IMAGES AVAILABLE FOR USE: https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/EZZCjuVp9kCv66h
/PublicRelease. This materials from the originating group/writer(s) could also be of a point-in-time nature, edited for readability, fashion and size. The views and opinions expressed are these of the writer(s).