CSIRO develops new wheat with 10x amount of fibre

CSIRO develops new wheat with 10x amount of fibre

CSIRO develops new wheat with 10x amount of fibre

Scientists have found a solution to Australians improving their gut health without any eating habit changes needed.  

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A new type of wheat that has ten times more fibre than the normal grain has been developed by an international team.

CSIRO, French company Limagrain Cereales Ingredients, and the Grains Research and Development Corporation, made the discovery when they identified two particular enzymes, that when reduced in wheat, increased the amylose content.

The higher amylose content contains more than ten times the resistant starch, a type of dietary fibre, than those made from regular wheat, and can help improve gut health, and fight bowel cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

With wheat being the most popular source of dietary fibre globally, principal research scientist at CSIRO, Dr Ahmed Regina, said the breakthrough could provide millions of people with a lot more fibre without the need to change their eating habits.

“Having a wheat with high levels of resistant starch enables people to get this important fibre without changing the type of grain they eat or the amount of grain-based food they need for the recommended dietary levels.”

The team responsible for developing the new grain used a conventional breeding approach to increase the amylose content of wheat grain from 20 to 30 per cent to a staggering 85 per cent.

“This was sufficient to increase the level of resistant starch to more than 20 per cent of total starch in the grain compared to less than one per cent in regular wheat,” Dr Regina explained.

Currently, the American States of Idaho, Oregon and Washington have a small number of farmers who have harvested the first crop of wheat, which will be processed into flour and incorporated into a range of food products that Americans will be able to purchase at supermarkets in the coming years.

CSIRO’s Global Executive Manager, Lindsta Adler, said the company was keen to find an Australian licensee who would develop a new product for the locals.

“This is an opportunity ripe for the picking, with customers across the world increasingly demanding foods with improved health benefits,” Mr Adler said.

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