Resistant starch product gets second novel foods consultation, FSA

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Resistant starch Nutrition

The UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) is to hold a second
consultation on an application to approve National Starch Food
Innovation's phosphated distarch phosphate as a novel food

Phosphated di-starch phosphate is a modified resistant starch currently used as a food additive (E1413) in the EU as a freeze-thaw stable thickener in products such as soups, sauces, frozen gravies and pie fillings.

In August 2005, The US-based company sought novel food approval for its ingredient in order to be able to market it in Europe as a source of dietary fibre in low-moisture food products like biscuits, cakes, crackers, tortillas and pasta.

An initial opinion on the ingredient, drafted by the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP), underwent a first consultation at the end of last year.

The opinion was subsequently amended in response to a comment made by a member of the public so that it considers the consumption of the ingredient by people with renal disease.

The FSA on Wednesday announced it is to hold a second 10-day consultation on approving the starch product as a novel food ingredient.

Any comments should be sent to the ACNFP Secretariat.

Before any new food product can be introduced on the European market, it must be assessed for safety.

In the UK, the assessment of novel foods is carried out by ACNFP, which is an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Food Standards Agency.

Resistant starch Resistant starch (RS) is so called because of its ability to resist digestion in the small intestine, unlike most other starches.

Instead, RS passes through to the large intestine where it acts like dietary fibre and improves digestive health.

Resistant starch occurs naturally in foods such as unripe bananas and cooked and cooled potatoes, but commercially produced RS ingredients have started to appear on the market in order to allow food manufacturers to incorporate the ingredient into their products.

This has provided the industry with another means to tap into opportunities gleaned from the growing trend for health and wellness foods, with resistant starch fitting squarely into the low-glycaemic food trend, as well as health product positioning such as prebiotic fibre and healthy digestive system claims.

Indeed, according to National Starch, the last few years have witnessed a "significant increase" in interest for RS in its home country.

The firm markets its Hi-Maize corn-derived insoluble fibre product on five key benefits: a low calorie count, a good digestive tolerance, a promotion of digestive health, an ability to help balance energy after a meal, and an ability to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

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