New wheat could help fight bowel cancer and Type 2 diabetes
A small number of US farmers have just harvested the first crop of the wheat, which is high in amylose.
Dr Ahmed Regina, a principal research scientist at CSIRO, said products made from high-amylose wheat contained more than ten times the resistant starch, a type of dietary fibre, than those made from regular wheat.
“Largely lacking in Western diets, resistant starch is known to improve digestive health, protect against the genetic damage that precedes bowel cancer and help combat Type 2 diabetes,” she said.
“Wheat is the most popular source of dietary fibre and eaten by 30 per cent of the world’s population, whether it’s in bread, pizzas, pastas or tortillas. 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 foods they need for recommended dietary levels.”
The wheat will be processed into flour and incorporated into a range of food products that is expected to hit US supermarkets in coming years.
The team responsible for developing the wheat are hopeful an Australian-based company will capitalise on the opportunity to market it locally.