The ingredient has expressly developed to increase the production of butyrate in the large intestine, said Rajiv Khatau, Lodaat Pharma’s managing director.
The company is targeting food and beverage brands with its Potato-Daat ingredient, which contains 78% resistant starch by weight.
The ingredient can easily be formulated into a range of applications, said Khatau, including bars, powders, RTD beverages, food, capsules, and tablets.
“Butyrate is the most important short chain fatty acid (SCFA), and has been linked to promoting satiety, protecting against endothelial dysfunction, and it’s useful for blood sugar management.”
The company is working on studies specifically using the ingredient with collaborators at the University of Michigan.
The term prebiotic was coined in 1995 by Prof Glenn Gibson and Marcel Roberfroid, and the definition was updated by the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics in 2017 to be: “A substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit”.
The category was built on inulin and FOS (fructooligosaccharides), but has expanded over the years to include GOS (galactooligosaccharides), XOS (xylooligosaccharide), HMOs (human milk oligosaccharides), lactulose, some polyphenols, and resistant starch.
A resistant starch is an insoluble dietary fiber which resists digestion in the small intestine and reaches the large intestine, where it’s fermented. Resistant starches are found naturally in many uncooked/unprocessed grains, intact whole grains, underripe bananas, beans and pulses, and potatoes.
Like the banana and corn-derived resistant starches, potato starch is classified as RS2.
An article by FoodNavigator-USA in 2019 labeled resistant starch an unsung hero for a range of health conditions, including digestive health, insulin and glycemic response, and boosting satiety.
In fact, the European Union has approved a health claim for resistant starch to reduce postprandial glycemia, while the FDA approved a qualified health claim in 2016 for high-amylose maize resistant starch to “reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes”.
However, a 2019 paper in mBio by Dr Thomas Schmidt and his group at the University of Michigan reported that “that not all fermentable fibers are equally capable of stimulating SCFA production”, and that resistant potato starch performed better at boosting butyrate levels than resistant corn starch (RMS), and inulin isolated from chicory root. Amylase-accessible corn starch (a readily digestible food-grade corn starch) was used as the control in the study.
The study, which used a 70% resistant potato starch from Bob’s Red Mill, indicated that the RPS group experienced the greatest increases in average concentrations of fecal butyrate
The data also showed that Ruminococcus bromii or Clostridium chartatabidum may be needed to enhance butyrate production in response to resistant starch.
“These results […] highlight the importance of the composition of an individual’s microbiota in determining whether or not they respond to a specific dietary supplement,” stated the researchers.