High Fiber Wheat
Fiber is the indigestible portion of food that is essential for healthy digestion. Research has shown that fiber may play a large role in maintaining bowel health, lowering cholesterol, stabilizing blood glucose levels and controlling weight gain. A high fiber diet has the potential to lower the rate of glucose entry into circulation, thus decreasing the risk of food-related chronic diseases, such as coronary artery disease and diabetes. The average American adult consumes approximately 15-18 grams of fiber daily, only half of the amount recommended by the U.S. Department of Health’s dietary guidelines based on the average caloric intake. In recent years, the awareness of the health benefits of high fiber diets has increased. This has translated to a strong growth in demand for high fiber food products, with 38% of grocery shoppers now seeking high fiber foods.
We are developing high fiber wheat traits that could be used to produce white flour with up to three times more dietary fiber than standard white flour. We anticipate that by altering the proportion of certain slower digested carbohydrates in the wheat grain, we will increase dietary fiber. This would allow consumers to reach their daily value of fiber without changing their existing food preferences. These high fiber wheat product candidates will not contain any foreign DNA.
We believe our high fiber wheat flour will be incorporated into many food products—from pasta to bread. Whereas a single serving of whole wheat flour can provide 49% of an individual’s daily fiber needs, a single serving of our high fiber flour may provide up to 100% of the recommended daily requirement thereby allowing food manufacturers to make high fiber products sought after by many consumers.
In March 2018, high fiber wheat product candidate was declared a non-regulated article under the “Am I Regulated?” process by Biotechnology Regulatory Services of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This product candidate is currently in Phase I of our development process and may launch as early as 2020 – 2021.
In addition to our high fiber wheat product candidate, we are also developing other consumer traits in our wheat pipeline, including a reduced gluten product candidate.