Increased consumer demand for functional foods has prompted Cargill Texturizing Solutions to step up its focus on C*ActiStar, a functional food ingredient rich in resistant starch (RS).

The global functional foods market is expected to grow to US$167bn by 2010, representing 5% of total food expenditure in the developed world, according to the Global market review of functional foods - forecasts to 2010, published by just-food.com. And one of the leading areas of functional food development is functional food for healthy digestion. 

"In the West, consumption of starch, and particularly resistant starch, has declined in the last 50-years and yet there is now increasing evidence that a higher RS intake may be beneficial for the maintenance of healthy digestion via its butyrate generating properties," said Thomas Draguhn, market development manager at Cargill Texturizing Solutions, part of the Cargill group.

"The unhealthy life styles and poor food habits of many consumers are known to cause digestive problems," Draguhn continued. "A healthy digestive system is essential for overall quality of life. Cargill Texturizing Solutions have developed C*ActiStar to meet this market need for products that taste great but contain a significant amount of RS."

C*ActiStar can be used in many categories of foodstuffs to increase RS intake, including bread, cereal bars, biscuits/coolies, muesli, low-fat fermented milks, smoothies, and ready-to-use powdered mixes such as instant soups and chocolate drinks.