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What is Resistant Starch?

“One of the major developments in our understanding of the importance of carbohydrates for health in the past 20 years has been the discovery of resistant starch.”

- World Health Organisation


Resistant starch is a special type of carbohydrate that acts more like a dietary fibre. While most carbohydrates or starches are digested and absorbed into the body through the small intestine, resistant starch ‘resists’ digestion and passes through to the large intestine where it is broken down and fermented. In the process, it acts as a fuel supply for the ‘good bugs’ that naturally live in our gut, the beneficial digestive bacteria that help boost inner health.

Resistant starch has been consumed for thousands of years. But it was only recently rediscovered as an important ingredient to help maintain health and wellness.

Backed by science

One of the highest natural sources of resistant starch, HI-MAIZE® is made from non-genetically modified high amylose corn. It is classified as an RS2 type of resistant starch.

Twenty years of research and more than 350 studies (most using HI-MAIZE® resistant starch), demonstrate significant health benefits for this clever corn starch. Digestive health, weight control (satiety) and glycemic management (insulin and glucose control) are just a few.

HI-MAIZE® resistant starch has a proven track record over more than 20 years. It has been commercially available since 1993.

Public health authorities around the world (including the Word Health Organisation, Australia’s National Health, and the US National Academy of Science and Medical Research Council to name just a few) recognise the benefits of resistant starch.

More than 350 published studies show the compelling health advantages of natural HI-MAIZE® resistant starch made from high amylose corn. 

Unlike many other functional fibres which can be hard on tummies, studies with HI-MAIZE® show that consumers can eat even high levels (up to 45g/day) of HI-MAIZE® without digestive side effects.

The benefits include: 

  • Digestive health – beyond laxation, it helps create a healthier internal environment for healthy digestive bacteria to work effectively.
  • Diabetes and Energy management – helps support healthy blood sugar and insulin levels by: reducing the glcaemic response to foods; reducing insulin resistance; and helping to improve how we metabolise fat.
  • Weight management - helps consumers control their appetites by keeping them feeling fuller for longer after meals and reducing blood sugar spikes - both short-term and long-term. 
  • Invisible fibre – makes it easier for your consumers to boost their fibre intake – without changing what they eat. A gentle but effective fibre, HI-MAIZE® doesn’t change the taste or texture of the foods consumers love.


Not all resistant starches are equal.

Remember! Most scientific research pointing to health advantages of resistant starch relates to RS2 high amylose maize (corn) starch (HI-MAIZE®). Other types of resistant starch have been less well researched, with few published studies.

Despite high awareness and constant messages, most consumers still need to eat more fibre each day. Boosting resistant starch is a good way to start and it’s easy.

Health professionals recommend the following tips:

  • Add more lentils, split peas and pulses to soups, stews and slow cooked meals.
  • Re-discover baked beans – served on enriched fibre breads for an added resistant starch. 
  • Explore tasty salad options featuring pulses, beans and chick peas.
  • Add a banana (slightly under-ripe) to a breakfast smoothie, together with your favourite berries.
  • Choose pasta, noodle or rice salad to increase levels of RS3 in the cooked, then cooled starches.
  • When choosing breads, cereals or snacks, look for those displaying the HI-MAIZE® logo. High fibre white bread with HI-MAIZE® provides a mix of all three active fibres.

Including more resistant starch in everyday eating helps boost overall fibre intake and provide a balance of all three types of fibres people need every day – soluble fibre, insoluble fibre, and resistant starch. Health professionals recommend a balance of all these types of fibre for good health. 

Learn more about Resistant Starch and health?

Learn more about resistant starch, how much consumers need and why health professionals play a key role in helping consumers achieve a better balance of fibres in everyday eating.

© food australia, official journal of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Limited (AIFST). Republished with permission.

How resistant starch helps promote digestive health

Take a journey through the intestinal tract to see how resistant starch and gut microbiota help promote digestive health on this video produced by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), with support from the Australian Government. 

Learn more about HI-MAIZE® resistant starch.

HI-MAIZE® resistant starch

Made from a traditionally bred variety of corn, natural HI-MAIZE® invisibly adds fibre and resistant starch to a wide range of foods.
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Versatile and easy to use

Naturally white in appearance, neutral in taste and with a small particle size, HI-MAIZE® doesn’t change the taste or texture of the foods consumers love.
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