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Food Science and Technology (Campinas)
On-line version ISSN 1678-457X
PEREIRA, Karla Dellanoce. Resistant starch, the latest generation of energy control and healthy digestion. Ciênc. Tecnol. Aliment. [online]. 2007, vol.27, suppl.1, pp. 88-92. ISSN 1678-457X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-20612007000500016.
Clinical studies have demonstrated that resistant starch has properties similar to fibers, which have physiological benefits in humans and could result in the prevention of diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that about 55% of ingested energy comes from carbohydrates. However, it needs to be concerned about which type of carbohydrate is being ingested. Fibers, for example should be ingested at 25-30 g/day/person, which does not normally happen. As it is a resistant food, digestion and fermentation in the thick intestine (mainly for bifidobacteria) is a food prebiotic. During fermentation, the production of fatty acids of the short chain (mainly the butyrate), which contributes significantly to the health of the colon, takes place inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells due to the reduction of pH in the thick intestine. Moreover, it contributes to the production of progressive diffuse energy (PDE), which is the energy released when slow digestion takes place and to the decrease in the glycemic index of food, providing a smaller glycemic response and consequently a more appropriate insulin response. This helps the treatment of diabetes (mainly type 2) and gives the individual a sensation of quenching thirst for a longer period of time. National Starch Food Innovation possesses Hi-Maize 260 as a resistant starch, which when compared to conventional fibers, presents many advantages. It is white and it has a soft flavor, small sizes of particles and it lessens the capacity to retain water. It practically does not alter the texture of products of low moisture such as bread, pasta, cereal bars unlike conventional fibers, which formulate products with a high rate of fibers and are still labeled as simply "corn" starch. It also presents a reduced caloric rate and it can be used as an agent in formulations with a reduced value or without fat.
Keywords : fiber; carbohydrates; glycemic index; bifidobacteria; butyrate.