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  Green Banana Resistant Starch   

Traditionally, starch was considered to be well digested in the small intestines. However, in 1980's some scientists discovered that there are starches which are not digested in the small intestine but reach the large intestine intact, and named it "resistant starch". More researches have studied thereafter, and found the starch exhibits many beneficial effects on the digestive and colonic systems in addition to the resistance to digestion. The resistant starch is now one of the most notable food materials in health food and food industries.

In 1992, EUREST defined the resistant starch as "starch and starch degradation which are not digested in the small intestine. Today, some countries classified resistant starch as a dietary fiber.

      Classification of Resistant Starch    
There are many kinds of starches which are not digested and absorbed. Currently, the starches are classified in the following four types.
     R S 1  Starches physically protected with the hard cell walls. (e.g. grains)  
     R S 2  Starches having resistant structural granules naturally. (e.g. green bananas)  
     R S 3  Starches retrograded by heating and cooling. (e.g. cooked rice)  
     R S 4  Starches modified chemically. (e.g. acetylated starch)  

      Green Banana and Resistant Starch    
There exist many plants containing resistant starch in the nature. Among others, green banana has been widely noticed as it is well known that abundant in resistant starch.
Green banana
   Resistant starch exist in the Nature.   
 Food Serving size RS content (g) 
  Green banana 1 medium, peeled    13.0
  Potato 1/2" diameter     3.2
  Lentils 1/2 cup cooked     2.5
  Pearl barley 1/2 cup cooked      2.5
  Cold pasta 1 cup     1.9
  Oatmeal 1 cup     0.7
  Wholegrain bread 2 slices     0.5
                  Murphy M., et al. 2008

  Bananas, an ancient and much loved fruit, are one of the four world major crops, with global production at around 100 millions of tons annually. Banana is widely grown in the tropical and subtropical areas in the neighborhood of the equator, so called "banana belt".

Although it has been well known that banana starch exists in green banana has very unique health functions in additon to its physical properties, it has not been utilized due to some difficulties in extraction of high quality banana starch from green bananas.
Banana growing areas
"banana belt"

Green color of banana, when harvested, gradually turns to yellow by the enzymes inherent, and the starch is degraded into sugars in parallel. Accordingly, use of green banana as the starting materials is needed for efficient extraction of banana starch.
  Time course change of banana   

    General Properties of Green Banana Resistant Starch    
Major component of banana starch is so called "resistant starch" which resists digestion in the small intestine of healthy humans. Although starch is used as a major energy source, there is an increasing desire for starch with no or less energy among health conscious people. Green banana resistant starch is a new natural functional food ingredient developed to meet such the demand.
    Basic properties of banana starch      
  ●White powder ●High gel strength 
  ●Almost tasteless and odorless ●High hot viscosity
  ●Slightly grainy ●Excellent heat stability
  ●Satisfied clarity ●Soft texture
  ●Resistance to digestion  

  Among others, the most notable property of banana starch is "the resistance to digestion".

While other common starches are well degestible, banana starch is not digestible. Accordingly, banana starch with its all-purpose use as a starch just like other common starches could be a quite unique food ingredient with the various health functions.
 Nutritional Facts of Banana Starch
 Test Item Results (per100g) 
 Water content    7.4
 Protein    0.1
 Liquid    0.1
 Ash    0.1
 Carbohydrate   92.3 
 Resistant starch   61.6
  Lot #150119
tasted by Japan Food Research Labs.

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    Health Functions of Resistant Starch    

Resistant starth is expected to provide the following health functions.

Mostly go thorugh the stomach and small intestine undigested, and evenually reach the colon intact.
Low GI, insulin resisntance  
Fermented by intestinal microbes in the large intestine.
Selectively stimulates and activates the good intestinal microbes.
Dietary fiber like  
Through the fermentation, the good bacteria produce the nutritional source (butyrate) for the colonic cells.
These activated colonic cells support the healthy colon and eventually the health of the host.
Colonic health supporting effect  

  Low GI and Insulin Resistant Effects    
The carbohydrates in bananas change to digestible from non-digestible as they are ripening. GI of yellowish (ripened) banana is 55-65 (medium GI), while that of green (under ripened) banana is 30-40 (low GI).

It has been reported that resistant starch is effective at lowering blood glucose levels and improves insulin sensitivity.

Change in Plasma Glucose
until 5 hours after RS intake

Change in Plasma Insulin
until 5 hours RS intake

Change in GI after intake of
RS formulated cookies
  Subject No;10 healthy subjects(male5.female5)
RS  :50g of RS mixed 500ml fruit syrup
Control:50g of starch mixed 500ml fruit syrup
Source: resistant starch: the effect on postprandial glycemia, hormonal response, and satiety Anne Raben, Arne Astrupet al., Am J Clin Nutr 1994;60:544-51 Alejandro Aparicio-Saguilon etc. Institute Technologico de Acupulco, Mexico, 15 July 2006  

  Changes in body weight and BMI after intake of BS in diabetic patients     
  Effects on RS on body weight Effects on RS on BMI  Test Period: 1 month daily amount 0.3 g/kg ob body weight of BS.  
      Jorge L., Ble-Castillo et al., Universidad Juarez Autonoma, Mexico, Feburary 17, 2010  
European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) examined the proposed claim, and approved the claim "replacement of digestible starch with resistant starch in high carbohydrate foods cdecreases postprandial blood glucose levels. (EFSA 2011)

  Dietary Fiber like Effects    
Resistant starch acts as both soluble and insoluble dietary fibers.
     Comparison of Dietary Fiber and Resistant Starch
  Starch, a macromolecular substance, exhibits the effects of insoluble dietary fiber and at the same time produces beneficial short chain fatty acids.  Frontier of Luminacoides Research: T. Hayakawa, T.Oku Kenpakkusha 2010 p233-245  

<Normalization of Bowel Movement>
 Insoluble dietary fiber is less digestible by intestinal microbes, and has water-keeping property which leads well stool formations.
 Soluble dietary fiber has strong swelling power, therefore, forms soft bulky stool. THe bulky soft stool in the colon stimulates colonic movement resulting in very smooth defecation.
 Resistant starch has both benefits.

There is the report showing that significant effects on intestinal pH and stool volume were observed after intake of 40g/day of RS for 3 weeks in 11 healthy subjects. (JP Phillips et al., 2009)
  Effects of RS on intestinal pH
 Effects of RS on stool volume
    JP Phillips, JG Muir, A Birkett, ZXIu, GP Jones, KO Dea and GP Young Author Affiliations, School of Nutrition and Public Health, Deakin University, Malvern, Australia  

In the study of RS given children with Shigellosis infection, significant effects were shown in stool volume, stool frequency and excretion of blood. (Robbani, GH, MD et al, 2009)
   Effects on mucous stool
Effects of RS on stool frequency
Effects of RS on normalizatin of
stool volume
      Rabbani, G.H, MD et al., Pediatric infec. Disease Jou., May 2009, Vol.28, pp 420-425, Effects of banana starch on stool volume, frequency and excretion of blood in 73 children with sever Shigellosis infection  

  Supporting Effects on Colonic Health    
Resistant starch is fermented by the intestinal microbes. When the microbes digest resistant starc, they form some beneficial metabolic products, particularly a fatty acid called butyrate, and also reduce the pH levels in the colon. The butyrate is the favored energy source of colon cells, and known to have many beneficial functions by stimulating and activating the cells that line the colon. Followings show the potential effects of butyrate reported in some medical publications.
  Change after intake of 40g/day of RS for 3 weeks   
  Change of Free Fatty Acids production 
Change in pH 
    JP Phillips, et al, School of Nutrition and Public Health, Deakin University, Malvern, Australia. Am., J. Clin. Nutr. 1995,62:;121-30 Effect of resistant starch on fecal bulk and fermention-dependent events in humans  
Potential effects of butyrate
●Preventive effects on colonic carcinogenesis
 (colon cancer)
●Anti-inflammatory effect
 (inflammatory colonic desease)
●Protective effect on colonic membrane
 (inflammatory colonic disease)
●Stimulating effect on satiety

Roberto Canani, et,al., World Journal of Gastroenterology,Vol. 17 issue 12, Mar.2011., Potential benefical effects of butyrate in intestinal and extraintestinal diseases

Comparison of increase ratios of fatty acids
after intake of RS

JP Phillips, JG Muir, A Birkett, ZXIu, GP Jones, KO Dea and GP Young Author Affiliations, School of Nutrition and Public Health, Deakin University, Malvern, Australia.
It is concluded that resistant starch contributes the health of host through a series of health supporting effects in the colon including enhanced fermentation, changes in the microflora composition.

Green banana resistant starch is now available in the market. As a new natural health-supporting food material, it is expected to be used in such health-oriented foods as diet foods, foods for diabetes and obese, foods for elderly people, medical foods as well as a natural health supplement.
          GREEN BANANA
 Resistant Starch
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