In the past, the government’s Dietary Guidelines targeted how we need to eat more healthful and how Americans should be more active. In the face of the ongoing obesity crisis, however, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines targeted the nation’s unhealthy habits. For the third part of our online series on producing new products for satiety and weight management,Baking & Snackinterviewed Rhonda Witwer, senior business development manager, nutrition, National Starch Food Innovation, Bridgewater, NJ. Here’s our report.

Baking & Snack: What role can your ingredients play in producing satiety? Or is there another mechanism in effect?

Ronda Witwer:Due to the abundance of published studies using National Starch’s Hi-maize resistant starch, numerous mechanisms have been identified. Much less is known about most other types of dietary fiber ingredients. Hi-maize resistant starch mechanisms can assist in managing weight: For example, it replaces flour and high-glycemic carbohydrates in foods with dietary fiber — reducing the short-term glycemic and insulin response and lowering the calorie content of that food.

Some researchers believe that lowering glycemic impact of foods may help people to manage their weight, but the data is inconsistent. Another review article was just published on the topic which summarized: “While a few studies found significantly greater weight loss on the low glycemic index and glycemic load (GI/GL) diets, most of the other studies showed a non-significant trend that favored low GI/GL diets; suggesting that factors other than GI/GL may play a role.” Esfahani A et al, “The application of the glycemic index and glycemic load in weight loss: a review of the clinical evidence” (IUBMB Life, 63[1]:7-13 January 2011.) The Dietary Guidelines 2010 concluded the same and does not encourage the use of the glycemic index or glycemic load.

On a second point, Hi-maize resistant starch improves insulin sensitivity and lowers circulating levels of insulin. High levels of insulin prevent fat from being burned as energy and promote fat deposition. Thus, lowering circulating insulin levels can help individuals manage their weight. (Robertson Diabetologia 2003, >i?Robertson American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005, Zhang,Chinese Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2007, Johnson,Diabetic Medicine, 2010).

On a final point on this topic, Hi-maize increases satiety both short term (2-3 hours) but also longer-term (10-24 hours). When fed in muffins for breakfast, resistant starch had the highest impact on satiety over 2-3 hours than other types of dietary fiber (corn bran, beta-glucan from oats and barley and polydextrose).

In addition, Hi-maize resistant starch increases satiety over longer-term and can help individuals eat less food more than 24 hours. Evidence suggests that the fermentation of Hi-maize in the large intestine turns on the genes that make satiety hormones, and since Hi-maize is fermented over many hours, the satiety benefits last much longer. One study found that people who had eaten resistant starch for dinner were less hungry after breakfast the next morning (Nilsson,Journal of Nutrition, 2008). Another study found that people who had eaten Hi-maize for breakfast and lunch consumed 10% fewer calories over 24 hours without feeling hungry (Bodinham,British Journal of Nutrition, 2010).

How do you see this category of foods developing in the next 18 months? What factors will be most important to their success?

There is a lot of interest within the food industry in foods that can increase satiety and help with weight management. Unfortunately, there is varying levels of evidence supporting the numerous options and/or ingredients.

For instance, well-recognized researchers are questioning the satiety benefits of protein, as the evidence does not seem to support these types of claims. If these foods promising satiety and weight management benefits don’t fulfill on their promise or claims, consumers will be able to tell the difference and the category will suffer as a result.

On the other hand, if consumers can feel the difference after consuming a particular food, the future for that food will be very bright. I think the biggest factor will be whether consumers can feel the difference.

What ingredients does your company offer for food products intended to help with weight management?

Hi-maize resistant starch helps individuals manage their weight via multiple mechanisms. Animal studies also point to weight management benefits of Hi-maize resistant starch. In addition,Healthmagazine andPreventionmagazine have mentioned that resistant starch naturally occurring in foods can help people manage their weight.

Hi-maize whole grain corn flour also increases satiety and reduces subsequent food consumption. A recently published study fed Hi-maize whole grain corn flour in soup two hours before a meal. Individuals who had eaten Hi-maize whole grain corn flour consumed 15% fewer calories at lunch compared to individuals who had eaten maltodextrin, a high glycemic control. (Anderson,American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010)

Nutriose soluble fiber has been shown to increase satiety and to decrease weight in two recent studies, one of which has been published (Li et al, “Nutriose dietary fiber supplementation improves insulin resistance and determinants of metabolic syndrome in overweight men: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study,”Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism35:773-782, 2010). National Starch is a distributor of Nutriose in the US market.

Editor’s Note: Check out next week’s Operations Update for another installment on Ingredients for weight management. Subscribe today.

Read More on the Subject:
Ingredients for weight management, part 1 with Dave Pfefer, product manager, enrichment/fortification blends, Caravan Ingredients
Ingredients for weight management, part 2 with Ody Maningat, PhD, vice-president of applications technology and technical services, MGP Ingredients
Ingredients for weight management, part 4 with Joseph O’Neill, executive vice-president of sales and marketing, BENEO Inc.
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