Cookies formulated so that Hi-Maize whole grain corn flour replaced two thirds of the wheat flour were found to reduce the glucose response by 34% in young men, compared to 100% whole wheat flour cookies, according to findings published in the Journal of Food Science.
“We conclude that whole grain [whole grain high-amylose maize] flour is a value-added ingredient and that this study provides substantiation for a glycemic control claim for food products containing this ingredient when replacing ingredients that provide higher amounts of available carbohydrate,” wrote researchers from Mount Saint Vincent University (Halifax, Canada), the University of Toronto, and Ingredion Inc.
Starches can be divided into three groups: rapidly digestible starch (RDS, digested within 20 minutes), slowly digestible starch (SDS, digested between 20 and 120 minutes), and resistant starch (RS). The latter is not digested but is fermented in the large intestine and has 'prebiotic' properties.
Resistant starch can be found naturally in cold cooked potatoes, pasta and rice as well as baked beans and lentils.
Commenting on the implications of the study’s findings, the scientists said that the specialty flour could be used in foods formulated to deliver glycemic and satiety benefits.
“This study demonstrates a positive effect of a solid food product containing 50 g of whole grain high-amylose maize flour on blood glucose in young men.
“Possible food formulations using whole grain high-amylose maize flour include cereals, rolls, breads, muffins, batters, cookies, cakes and other applications that can benefit consumers by supporting glycemic control especially in individuals who are at risk for diabetes.”
Santiago Vega, Sr. Manager of Nutrition with Ingredion, told FoodNavigator-USA that there are many commercial examples of products in these categories that are in store shelves today.
“For instance, there are various cereal brands that contain Hi- Maize whole grain flour and Hi-Maize resistant starch, as well as several snacks brands. A number of companies have launched breads with Hi-Maize resistant starch and are making blood sugar management claims. Similar examples can be found in pasta, bake mixes or gluten free baked products.”
“There is a large opportunity for the food industry to develop innovative and delicious products that help consumers manage their blood sugar.”
The study involved 30 young men with an average BMI of 22.6 kg/m2. The men were randomly assigned to receive 1 of 3 cookies once a week for three weeks. The cookies were formulated to contain 100% wheat flour (control), or the Hi-Maize ingredient at a low- or high-dose (63% wheat flour, 37% hi-Maize flour or 33% wheat flour, 67% Hi-Maize flour, respectively.
Food intake was assessed after a pizza meal two hours after eating the cookie, while blood glucose and appetite were measured after consuming the cookie and then again after the pizza meal.
Results showed that the high-dose Hi-Maize product could reduce the glucose response by 34%, compared to the control.
“The study conducted at the U. of Toronto further demonstrates that resistant starch from high amylose corn is a very effective tool to help consumers manage their blood sugar,” said Vega.
“Blood sugar management and energy balance are of increasing importance to consumers. They are concerned about lack of energy, weight management and diabetes risk. Shoppers are learning of the effects and benefits of managing their blood sugar and are beginning to look for foods that deliver these benefits.
“Hi-Maize resistant starch and Hi-Maize whole grain corn flour can be important tools for food formulators to deliver innovative and tasty products that help consumers manage their blood sugar.”
Source: Journal of Food Science
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12690
“The Effects of Whole Grain High-Amylose Maize Flour as a Source of Resistant Starch on Blood Glucose, Satiety, and Food Intake in Young Men”
Authors: B.L. Luhovyy, R.C. Mollard, S. Yurchenko, et al.