The company’s European business manager, nutrition, Pauline Taggart told NutraIngredients.com: “Wholegrains are a rich source of nutrients, including fibre, B vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients with antioxidant activities. Hi-maize wholegrain contains resistant starch – a naturally occurring dietary fibre that has been shown to aid intestinal/colonic health and produce metabolically important benefits in glycaemic management and energy.”
Health benefits associated with wholegrain include lower cholesterol and blood pressure, protection against cardiovascular disease, reduced risk of type-2 diabetes and improved bowel health, said Taggart.
Containing at least 25 per cent fibre, the product is said to be the highest fibre gluten-free wholegrain flour on the market. It contains at least three times the fibre of existing allergen-free wholegrain alternatives, claims the company.
Hi-maize whole grain corn flour’s antioxidant activity is said to be 3200TE/g (Equivalent of Trolox) compared with blueberries rated at 333TE/100g and whole grain corn flour at 2600TE/g.
For manufacturers, the ingredient facilitates the boosting of the fibre and wholegrain content of low moisture goods. “As demand for high-fibre, wholegrain foods soars, it offers the opportunity to add meaningful quantities to a wider range of applications, including gluten-free options,” said Taggart. It is easy to work with, providing good texture and dough handling properties in baked goods and snacks, she added.
Produced through traditional high-amylose maize breeding, Hi-maize wholegrain is available as a medium or coarse flour and is claimed to offer longer shelf life than traditional wholegrain flour.
The medium flour is said to be best suited to bakery products, including biscuits, muffins, wafers, waffles and pasta. It also useful for gluten-free alternatives.
The coarse flour can be used in a wide variety of products ranging from corn snacks, cereals and pizza to cookies, cakes and artisanal breads.
Meanwhile, the global market for wholegrain and high fibre foods is expected to reach a value of €15.5bn this year, with Europe accounting for 29 per cent of sales, according to the Datamonitor report, Fiber & Whole Food Consumption Trends: Profitable Innovation Opportunities (July 2008).
Nearly 40 per cent of Europeans regularly buy whole high fibre foods. Cereals represent the largest segment, while the baked food/snacks category offers the most potential, concluded the report.
Hi-maize wholegrain flour joins the company’s existing range of nutritional ingredients which includes Hi-maize resistant starch and Sustagrain wholegrain flour and flakes.