You can improve the proportion of resistant starch in your diet by eating unrefined whole grains, pulses and legumes, unripe bananas and cooked and cooled foods such as potatoes, pasta and rice. Dr Lockett explained that in addition to conducting fundamental research, scientists at the CSIRO work across the fields of nutrition and agriculture for product development.
“As our understanding of the beneficial components of dietary fibre has improved, we’ve been able to inform colleagues who are growing grains for cereal purposes,” he explained.
“If we can include and enrich resistant starch in marketable grains, perhaps we can drive health benefits.”
Dr Lockett’s CSIRO colleague Dr Bianca Benassi-Evans – who is based in the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) building – has recently trialed two non-genetically modified barley grains to determine their impact on bowel health. Comparing the two candidate CSIRO barley grains against regular barley and puffed rice as breakfast meals in a sample of 20 adults, she found both to have desirable features.
“Our grains increased the acidity in stool samples, and increased bowel production of butyrate, a short chain fatty acid,” she said.
“Both of these outcomes are biomarkers of good bowel health.”
Additional studies are currently taking place, through which Dr Benassi-Evans hopes these grains may end up in your cereal aisle.
“What you choose in that supermarket can have dramatic effects on gut health,” she said.
Which breakfast products make you fart is a question you’ll have to determine yourself.