3 years ago

High amylose wheat: a platform for delivering human health benefits

Ahmed Regina, Anthony R. Bird
Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers are now the leading cause of death and disability, and their prevalence is rising worldwide. Poor diet is a major modifiable risk factor but changing eating habits has had limited success. Enhancing the nutritional quality of staple foods offers a complimentary intervention strategy for alleviating the burden of diet-related chronic disease. Wholegrain cereals, such as wheat, are prime targets. Their nutritional credentials and health-promoting potential are well established. Wheat is the major source of protein, minerals and vitamins, and dietary fibre for most people. Importantly, wheat is a versatile ingredient for producing foods that have high consumer appeal. Their popularity is expanding globally and small improvements in wheat grain composition conceivably translate to substantial dietary change across entire populations. A newly developed, high amylose wheat line illustrates the capacity for developing healthier processed staple food products with potential for remediating chronic disease risk. Dietary fibre density of this novel grain is markedly improved due to a >10 fold increase in resistant starch content. The sensory attributes of finished products are not compromised and preliminary studies demonstrate that consumption of the new wheat significantly improves indices of metabolic and digestive health.
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