EIT Food has brought together PepsiCo, research group The Quadram Institute and Belgian university KU Leuven to develop foods that optimise the presence of slowly digested starch (SDS) in a bid to improve consumers’ health.
Consumption of these products may contribute to consumers’ health by reducing the post-prandial glycaemic responses – the affect that food has on blood glucose levels after consumption.
Optimise processing conditions
The consortium’s approach is to select starches from different botanical origins, then carefully optimise processing conditions – such as milling of raw ingredients and cooking conditions – to produce a wide range of products with carefully tailored slow starch digestion properties.
With the support to expand the project into its second year, the team will now focus on developing oat-based drinkable and ‘spoonable’ products to create opportunities for a new class of breakfast products with the added benefits of sustained energy release.
New health claim
The latest research into the project followed the authorisation of a new health claim by the European Food Safety Authority, which may be used on food where the digestible carbohydrates provide at least 60 % of the total energy and where at least 55 % of those carbohydrates is digestible starch – of which at least 40 % is SDS.
According to the EC, 10–25% of the adult population of the EU is obese, whole 10% suffered from Type II diabetes. The ultimate goal of the project is to help reduce these numbers by introducing consumer-focused starchy products that can contribute to consumer’s health and reduce the risk of developing diet-related disease.
Meanwhile, Claims that excess consumption of ‘ultra-processed’ foods lead to health issues and obesity in children risk overshadowing other dietary risks and demonising some healthier food options, according to the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF).