Time’s almost up! If anyone still wants to donate, and get a first-look at the results, please go to the Indiegogo page or use the PayPal button located here ———>
While I fell far short of my Indiegogo goal of $20,000, I have managed to get over $3000 from 50+ donors. This gets us a lot. I’ll be sending in 18 samples of various starches for RS analysis.
- Hi-Maize 260 High Amylose Maize Starch (HAMS) from Ingredion, Honeyville, and King Arthur
- HYLON VII (HAMS) from Ingredion
- Raw Potato Starch from Bob’s Red Mill (2 samples), Anthony’s, and Barry Farms
- Green Banana Flour from Zuvii, NuNaturals, De Nieuwe Brand (NL), and Natural Evolution (AU)
- Dried Plantain – Homemade (by me ) from very green plantains
- Mung Bean Starch
- Sweet Potato Starch
- Kuzu Root Starch
- Arrowroot Flour
- Tapioca Starch
In addition, I’m sending 3 duplicate samples of HAMS, RPS, and GBF to another test lab to see if they get a similar result.
Looks like this:
These tests will cost $155 per sample ($3255 for the math-impaired). Once the results are in I’ll send the lab sheets and other documents out to the donors.
I’m really excited to see the results. I’ve heard that mung bean and sweet potato starch are very high in RS, higher than potato starch. I’m also really curious what the RS on all of the potato samples will be. Literature suggests it should be around 60-75%. But no one’s ever tested different batches before.
The reason I’m testing multiple samples of HAMS, RPS, and GPS is because I am confident that these are good sources of RS, but not confident that all brands are created equal. If they all come back at the same levels, I will feel much more confidant to suggest these as supplements. For instance, green banana flour RS is very dependent on variety, ripeness, and processing methods. Just look at the variations in color between the five samples I’m testing:
The reason for sending just one sample of some is that I am not all that confidant in them. If any come back very low, we can rule out recommending it. If any come back very high, we could recommend further testing to see if there is standardization between batches. I think this methodology gets us the most for our money.
These results should be very useful to researchers and supplement manufacturers as interest in prebiotic fibers and resistant starch grows. I hope to be able to write this up in a nice report for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps it will spark some interest and researchers can do more testing, ie. heavy metals, pesticides, total fiber, minerals, etc… Would be nice to see, but very expensive!
My first challenge was in dealing with Ingredion, the makers of Hi-Maize. I contacted their POC for research, and asked some basic questions about high amylose maize starch and showed them my Indiegogo project (hoping for a donation). Their reply:
We cannot be of assistance with your project.
I assume they are not eager to aid in any research that will compare their flagship RS product, Hi-Maize, with other sources of RS. I was able to obtain samples of two Ingredion high amylose maize starch products from a distributor, Essex Grain, who kindly sent me a sample of Hi-Maize 260 and HYLON VII, and also two commercially procured samples from King Arthur Flour and Honeyville.
Another challenge was getting funding support from researchers. I contacted dozens of research centers who conduct clinical trials using resistant starch. These requests generated lots of email conversations, but no funding. They all had similar stories, ending in:
“We’d love to help, but we are BROKE!”
However, when Indiegogo donations started coming in, I saw several from people with “.edu” email addresses. So hopefully the results will help academia.
It turns out there are not very many commercial labs that perform resistant starch testing. I found two. However, when I discussed my project with one of them, I was given these instructions by their legal team:
– May not name [our lab] as the third party testing lab
– Must agree to blind the samples (no Brand name)
Apparently this project creates a conflict of interest. These two test labs also test the products of food and supplement manufacturers. I can see their point, so I made the necessary change in that all of the starch I will send for sampling will not be labeled with a brand name, only starch type.
While I fell far short of my intended target of $20,000, the money raised will definitely help to answer some very important questions about the RS content of the various starches that I have been recommending. Any surprises learned will be shared with all, immediately.
THANK-YOU! Many of the regulars here at Potatohack and VeggiePharm came out in droves to support this project. I had hoped to fund this project with donations from “big research,” but when things looked bleak, you guys came through. I can’t begin to express my gratitude. And also to the couple of you that sent me samples of starches I could not obtain locally.
Also, a big thanks to the makers of Zuvii Banana Flour, Gut Garden, Elixa, and International Agriculture Group for making generous donations. I hope that the results helps you all to make better decisions in the future and leads to new (much needed) prebiotic supplements and food ingredients.
Thanks for all your support!