A new type of wheat developed by Arista Cereal Technologies, which delivers three to five times more fiber to consumer products, is performing well in its first year in retail stores across the USA, and will now be marketed in Europe.
This high-fiber wheat is the first and only wheat bred for its nutritional characteristics. It has been developed for over 20 years by Arista (a joint venture between Australia’s national scientific research agency, CSIRO, and the French farmer-led cooperative, Limagrain). As part of this European partnership, Arista has exclusively licensed patents for high-fiber common wheat to Limagrain Ingredients.
The new variety is the first wheat ever grown to bring specific health benefits for consumers, related not just to the amount of fiber but also the type of fiber for gut health. The high-fiber content was achieved through conventional breeding to provide more resistant starch (which is a fermentable fiber) than traditional wheat.
The CEO of Arista, Eric Vaschalde, commented: “Our high-fiber wheat with this greatly increased type of natural fiber has an active prebiotic effect. People who choose this over conventional wheat are able to boost their fiber intake without having to stop eating the foods they love.”
Largely lacking in Western diets based on highly processed foods, resistant starch is a fermentable fiber that is more resistant to digestion, thus reducing the spike in blood sugar that occurs after a meal. This fiber moves through the digestive system where it contributes to the health of the gut microbiome and, it is thought to have a protective effect against bowel cancer.
Trials started in Europe several years ago for a range of wheat-based products from high fiber wheat, and a long-term distribution contract has been signed between Limagrain Ingredients and Arista earlier this year. “Limagrain Ingredients is the right partner for Arista to promote these new benefits to European consumers, with its expertise in wheat production and milling and its knowledge of the European wheat ingredients markets,” says Eric Vaschalde.
“We are thrilled to partner with Arista” mentions Anne Lionnet, in charge of marketing this wheat in Europe. “Food industries are increasingly interested in high-fiber wheat, providing an easy way to close the fiber gap without changing local consumption habits. We intend to supply high-fiber wheat ingredients to all food industries targeting increased health benefits in their products.”