The firm announced the advent of its Promitor line last week, but at the time kept the nature of its first ingredient to be available to food manufacturers firmly under wraps. It is expected that others will be announced in due course. Promitor Resistant Starch, derived from corn starch, is said to be suitable for use in baked goods and snacks, such as cereal, crackers, cookies, bread and pasta. Resistant starch is so-called because is 'resists' digestion. While there are other resistant starches on the market, the company is calling its product "a step change in resistant starch technology". Mike Augustine, global vice president of food ingredients applications and technical services told FoodNavigator.com that the main contributor to its tolerance of severe temperature is the proprietary production process. While he was not able to reveal details of the process itself, the result is that the fibre remains tightly associated within the formulation and does not open up to hydration, which would make it vulnerable to digestion. He said that others may start out with a higher fibre content, but lose part of this in formulation. Therefore less of the Promitor product needs to be used at the outset. For instance, a formulator may start out with a 10 per cent fibre product but 25 per cent of this could be lost during processing. The same end result could therefore be achieved with just seven to eight per cent of Promitor. This results in cost efficiencies, as well as taking up less space in the overall formulation. The low water-holding capacity also means Tate & Lyle's product can be more easily substituted for wheat flour in products where little moisture is used, like crackers. And when used in fried products, it reduces oil absorption by between 15 and 20 per cent, says the company, which results in a healthier finished product. The Promitor line is being marketed as a means to increase the fibre content in foods consumers actually want to eat, so as to help them meet fibre targets. Tate & Lyle has also worked in collaboration with Leatherhead Food International to determine the prebiotic properties of the starch, as part of a wider clinical research programme. That is, it helps balance the environment in the gut to aid survival of probiotic 'good' bacteria. Tate & Lyle has places considerable emphasis on health and wellness recently. It is presently constructing a health and wellness R&D centre in Lille, France, which is scheduled to open in the autumn. It also offers a formulation service called Enrich for dairy, beverage and bakery prototypes, to increase the nutritional value of products by adding in beneficial ingredients needed to fulfil requirements - especially for digestive health and immunity, obesity, and children's health.