New Type of Wheat Could Transform Daily Fiber Intake

San Mateo, California, UNITED STATES


SAN MATEO, Calif., Dec. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new type of wheat which could offer millions of people a way to boost their fiber intake without having to change their diets is being harvested for the first time in the United States.

The wheat is high-amylose wheat and contains more than ten times the amount of resistant starch compared to regular wheat. Largely lacking in Western diets, resistant starch is known to improve digestive health, protect against the genetic damage that precedes bowel cancer and help combat Type 2 diabetes.

Farmers in Minnesota and Washington have become the first to harvest the wheat which will be processed into flour and incorporated into a range of food products, including bread.

The development of the wheat was led in Australia by scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in collaboration with Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients. CSIRO is Australia’s preeminent national research agency.

“Wheat is the most popular source of fiber and eaten by 30 percent of the world’s population, whether it’s in bread, pizzas, pastas or tortillas,” said Dr. Ahmed Regina, a principal research scientist at CSIRO. “Having a wheat with high levels of resistant starch enables people to get this important fiber without changing the type of grain they eat or the amount of grain-based foods they need for recommended dietary levels.”

Working with French company Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients and the Grains Research and Development Corporation, CSIRO bred the new wheat variety - increasing amylose content from around 20 or 30 percent to 85 percent.

US-based Bay State Milling Company is bringing the new wheat into the US market. They recently contracted farmers to grow around 1,000 acres of the wheat, which they will market as HealthSense™ high fiber wheat flour.

“We are very excited to launch HealthSense™ in the US and change the way Americans think about wheat,” said Peter Levangie, Bay State Milling’s CEO. “HealthSense™ will deliver flour functionality to our customers and fiber benefits to consumers, enabling better human health through the foods they love to eat.”

Though it’s unclear when the wheat might be available in grocery stores to the average consumer, the flour will be made available to bakers and food manufacturers to trial early next year.

CSIRO opened its first US office this year to speed the development of new strategic partnerships with U.S. companies and organizations across many sectors, including agriculture, aerospace and health.

Notes to Editors

CSIRO has a strong track record in developing novel grains that commercial partners have taken to market. These include an ultra-low gluten barley, Kebari™, that German brewer Radeberger is now using to produce a gluten-free beer, and BARLEYmax™, a barley with high levels of resistant starch that is the key ingredient in cereals, snacks and bread available in the US, Australia and Japan.

The new wheat technology is the property of Arista Cereal Technologies Pty Ltd. Arista is a partnership between CSIRO and Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients. Arista is seeking partners globally looking to capitalize on the health benefits of high-amylose wheat.

About CSIRO

CSIRO, Australia’s premier national research organization and inventors of the Wi-Fi technology found in over five billion devices today, employs a team of more than 5,000 world-class scientists, engineers, technologists and economists to deliver solutions for some of the world’s most challenging problems.

Through innovative technology development and ground breaking research, we imagine, innovate, and collaborate with global partners, including Boeing and The Gates Foundation, to provide the commercially relevant technological solutions necessary to advance innovation and change the world.

Media Contact:
Lindsay Riddell, Hotwire - lindsay.riddell@hotwireglobal.com
Simon Hunter, CSIRO – simon@csiro.au, +61 477 319 714 (Australia based)