International Agriculture Group launches green banana flour containing 65% resistant starch

NuBanana N200 has highest concentrations of health promoting, clean label constituent — targeted toward functional foods and beverages and the raw vegan market

Start-up ingredient technology company, International Agriculture Group (IAG) is launching a new ingredient that features a high level of the prebiotic dietary fibre – resistant starch – in the lead up to SupplySide West 2017.

NuBanana N200 Green Banana Flour contains a minimum of 65% RS2 resistant starch, which has been shown to provide a broad range of health benefits dependent upon the amount consumed daily.

Moderate levels (10-15 g) of resistant starch consumption improves regularity, satiety and fat burning.

A High level of consumption (20-35 g) adds improved digestive health, insulin sensitivity and other metabolism benefits to these.

Target applications for NuBana N200 Green Banana Flour in the natural products industry include powders, beverage mixes, cold-fill beverages and bars. Because the resistant starch in NuBana N200 breaks down during cooking at temperatures of more than 180 °F, the ingredient is well suited for raw vegan foods.

NuBana N200 is non-GMO, gluten-free and labels as "dried green banana" or "green banana flour" — offering a consumer-pleasing fruit label opportunity.

According to Rhonda Witwer, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for IAG, NuBana N200 Green Banana Flour is an exciting new entrant to the resistant starch category, which is growing dynamically as consumers become increasingly aware of the health benefits of this remarkable material.

"Resistant starch has been on the radar of the health recommender community for more than a decade because of the large amount of quality science that has been conducted on its health benefits in a variety of applications. When the US FDA approved a qualified health claim stating that RS2 resistant starch may reduce the risk of diabetes last December, interest really shot up," she said.

"In the areas of digestive/intestinal health and metabolic health, NuBana N200 can be a valuable addition to a broad range of products and formulations."

"It also has a great presence on a label. It's not corn – it's fruit, and it has a higher amount of resistant starch in it than any comparable RS ingredient on the market. That means you can add less and still have room for other things in your formulation," she added.

In addition to resistant starch, NuBana N200 Green Banana Flour contains potassium, magnesium and manganese.

Why resistant starch?

Resistant starch is defined as starch that resists digestion, reaching the large intestine. Within the large intestine, it is consumed or fermented by the resident bacteria, producing short-chain fatty acids and other biochemical compounds. It is a prebiotic dietary fibre that selectively stimulates the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria (Ruminococcus bromii, Akkermansia and Bifidobacteria), and reduces the prevalence, growth and activity of potentially harmful bacteria (such as E. coli).

Clinical trials have shown systemic benefits from the consumption of RS2 resistant starch, including

  • low glycemic and insulin response
  • healthy bowel function
  • reduced hunger and reduced food consumption, for up to 24 hours
  • helping maintain integrity of the intestinal mucosal barrier
  • promoting healthy kidney function by processing nitrogen through growth of intestinal bacteria, which lessens the load on the kidneys
  • helping maintain healthy insulin sensitivity in the body's muscles, which maintains healthy blood sugar levels and healthy blood insulin levels.

According to Witwer, the rise of processed food has stripped the Western diet of its historical consumption of healthy resistant starch.

"People used to consume between 30 and 50 g of resistant starch a day from dietary sources such as whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Today, that consumption has fallen to around 5 g/day."

"As a society, we need to work to regain what we've lost," she said. "The good news is that we can start to increase our intake of resistant starch either by modifications of our eating habits or by finding and choosing food and beverage products that have supplemental resistant starch added to them."

"For people who aren't accustomed to higher levels of RS in their diets, they should increase their intake gradually — to avoid gastric discomfort. But even moderate levels of RS — 10–15 g/day — have noticeable benefits such as regularity, satiety and fat-burning."

"The home run benefit of RS – metabolic support - starts to occur in the 20-35 g/day range. At IAG, we want to work with food, beverage and supplement companies to develop strategies to help them deliver these levels to consumers. Together, we can really help make a difference in people's lives," she added.