Ingredion obtains health claim for hi-maize resistant starch

Ingredion has obtained a General Level Digestive Health Claim for Hi-Maize resistant starch from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

HI-MAIZE resistant starch is a proprietary type of natural fibre made from corn, manufactured and marketed by Ingredion globally. The unique appeal of the starch is that it is an invisible, ‘white fibre’.

This makes it particularly suitable for products like white breads, flat breads and pasta, popular consumer drinks such as fruit smoothies and protein shakes, helping consumers to eat more fibre without compromising taste and helping close the gap in fibre consumption.

The claim dossier, prepared collaboratively between Ingredion and an external consultant, proposed a claim stating that ‘Resistant Starch 2 (RS2) helps to maintain/support a healthy digestive system when consumed as part of a healthy diet made up of a variety of foods’.

Many public health authorities including the World Health Organisation, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, European Food Safety Authority and Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recognise the benefits of resistant starch for digestive health. More than 80 published clinical studies show the compelling health advantages of natural Hi-Maize resistant starch made from high amylose corn.


Govt to consider legalising hemp for food

Australian and New Zealand government ministers will discuss the possible legalisation of hemp as a food at a Food Regulation forum in Hobart today.

As AAP reports the forum, which will also discuss other issues like country-of-origin labelling, will be chaired by Australian Health Minister Fiona Nash.

Hemp is different to other varieties of Cannabis sativa, commonly referred to as marijuana. Hemp contains no, or very low levels of THC (delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical associated with the psychoactive properties of marijuana.

As such, and given that it is safe for human consumption, there is broad support within the farming community to legalise it.

Historically, the plant has been used as a source of fibre and oil. Hemp seeds contain protein, vitamins and minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp seed food products may provide an alternative dietary source of these nutrients.

Hemp oil also has medical applications. For example, last month a New Zealand teenager Alex Renton was granted special permission to use it as a treatment for a severe form of epilepsy.

In February, Australian and New Zealand ministers decided to maintain the ban on low THC hemp as food because of concerns about law enforcement issues. The feeling was that police drug testing would be compromised by the legalisation of the product.

In addition, it was felt that the use of hemp in food would send mixed messages about anti-drug initiatives in the two countries.