Slow release energy project secures second year of support

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

New research into slowly digested starch could help tackle obesity
New research into slowly digested starch could help tackle obesity

Related tags: Ingredients, Starch, Npd

A PepsiCo and Quadram Institute-led project developing foods that slowly release energy to help battle obesity has been granted a second year of support by the European institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT).

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).

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