The firm believes that the innovation, called MaizeWise, firmly links the move towards healthier eating with contemporary consumer tastes.
"MaizeWise was developed as a response to consumers evolving demand for better nutrition without sacrificing taste and texture of their traditional corn based grocery products," Brian Dahlman,account manager at Cargill Dry Corn Ingredients (DCI) told FoodNavigator-USA.com.
"MaizeWise provides our customer base with an opportunity to differentiate themselves and capitalize on consumers increased awareness of the benefits of whole grain and fiber, especially with the release of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines and reintroduction of the Food Pyramid by the USDA."
Dahlman points out that the benefits of whole grains and the synergistic effect of the three components of the grain; bran, endosperm and germ, have been extensively researched.
"These benefits primarily revolve around chronic disease and obesity prevention," he said.
But while the benefits of whole grains are increasingly becoming well known, most Americans are still nowhere near to eating enough wholegrain foods.
According to Dr Eric Hentges, executive director for the USDA center for nutrition policy and promotion, the average whole grain intake in the US is a meagre 0.85 servings/day. Moreover, he found that fewer than 10 percent of Americans consumed three servings per day, while 46 percent of the adult population reported no whole grain consumption whatsoever.
Cargill clearly believes therefore that there is a market for a tasty and nutritious alternative.
"Whole grain corn products have been around for a long time but deactivated whole grain corn meal/flour, available in a spectrum of flavors, granulations and degrees of gelatinization on a commercial scale is a Cargill innovation,"said Dahlman.
"This product is ideal for food systems where water binding, color, mouthfeel and cohesion are critical. Typical food applications would be tortillas, tortilla chips and extruded snacks."
Cargill uses patented technology to produce masa flour without the loss of corn solids or the bran layer, unlike the traditional nixtamalization method for producing masa flour. This allows snack and Mexican foods manufacturers to offer a whole grain foodproduct as opposed to a marketing a product simply produced from whole corn.
"MaizeWise corn bran is marketed as an all natural, organoleptically appealing and functional way to increase total dietary fiber content of virtually any food system that can utilize insoluble fiber," said Dahlman.
"We produce an 80 percent total dietary fiber product which would be considered a "commodity" type bran stream but we also produce a unique, patented 60 percent total dietary fiber that is precooked and finely ground."
Cargill finalises bakery acquisition
Cargill has also acquired Integrated Bakery Resources (IBR), a provider of pre-mix systems, finished foods and related marketing services to North American-based bakers and retailers.
"The acquisition of Integrated Bakery Resources supports Cargill's corporate food strategy of being a leading integrator of ingredients for food and beverage companies globally," said John Geisler, Cargill corporate vice president. "It brings to our company a team possessing leadership, recognized expertise and a proven track record of customer success in the baking category."
IBR is based in Oregon and employs 78 people.