Analysing resistant starch as a fibre: call for submissions

Submissions are invited on an application to change the Food Standards Code to include a method of analysis for resistant starch (RS) as a fibre.

Ingredion ANZ’s application to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) suggests this method is added to Schedule 11-4. This contains the prescribed methods for the determination of total dietary fibre and any specifically named fibre content for the purposes of nutrition information labelling. Currently, Schedule 11-4 does not state a particular method of analysis for RS for the purpose of nutrition labelling.

RS — naturally present in starchy foods such as cereals, corn, legumes, fruits and vegetables — is becoming more widely known for its health benefits. When consumed by healthy people, it resists enzymatic digestion.

As a result, manufacturers are more likely to add RS to their products to promote them as healthy and include it on their nutritional labels. When this occurs, Ingredion argues it is important that a method for analysis has been established to test nutritional claims to ensure consumers have consistent labelling and information when making purchase decisions.

The proposed method is AOAC 2002.02, which is already used for RS in countries such as the US, Canada and the UK.

“The proposed prescribed method of analysis (which is required for nutrition labelling) is used internationally and is the only method in the Codex list of recommended dietary fibre methods for measuring resistant starch,” FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth explained.

FSANZ’s assessment stated the method is applicable to samples containing 1–75% resistant starch. It would mean that food suppliers would be required to use AOAC 2002.02 if they specifically declare the quantity of resistant starch as a subgroup nutrient of dietary fibre in the nutrition information panel on a food label.

Amending the code to include AOAC 2002.02 as a new method of analysis would provide an internationally recognised method to measure the amount of resistant starch in foods and for declaring that amount as dietary fibre in the nutrition information panel.

“Including an agreed method for resistant starch in the code will provide clarity and certainty to the food industry and enforcement bodies alike and help underpin consumer confidence,” Booth summarised.

The closing date for submissions on this application is 4 December 2017 at 6 pm.

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