Gluten-free green banana flour high in RS2 could cut down waste

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

IAG has launched NuBana N200 banana flour that contains a high level of health-beneficial resistant starch. Pic: IAG
IAG has launched NuBana N200 banana flour that contains a high level of health-beneficial resistant starch. Pic: IAG

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US ingredient technology company, International Agriculture Group (IAG), has launched a clean label green banana flour that contains a high level of resistant starch to capitalize on the growing demand for the dietary fiber and perhaps cut down on banana waste.

IAG’s NuBana N200 Green Banana Flour contains 65% of a resistant starch that cannot be fully processed by the upper gastrointestinal tract due to its crystalline structure, referred to as RS2.

RS2 has been scientifically shown to provide a broad range of health benefits, including improving bowel function and satiety​ as well as digestive health, insulin sensitivity and kidney wellbeing.

According to Rhonda Witwer, VP of Marketing and Business Development for IAG, RS2 has been on the health-conscious consumer’s radar for over a decade, but interest really shot up in December last year when the FDA approved a qualified health claim that RS2 may reduce the risk of diabetes.

“NuBana N200 has a higher amount of resistant starch than any comparable RS ingredient on the market. That means you can add less and still have room for other things in your formulation,”​ she said.

Gluten-free and vegan

Banana flour is not new and has been produced since the early 1900s in Jamaica and Africa as a cheaper substitute to wheat flour.

Unripe bananas are ground into a fine, neutral tasting powders that can be used to reduce or replace wheat or rice flour in a wide range of applications including baked goods, nutrition bars and powders, and beverages.

Baked goods only require a limited amount of binders yet products still exhibit a mouthfeel similar to those made with standard flour, said the company. The flour is especially effective as a thickening agent for foods such as dressings, sauces and desserts.

In addition to RS2, IAG said NuBana N200 contains potassium, magnesium and manganese; is non-GMO and gluten-free; and just three teaspoons (15g) of the flour is equivalent to half a fruit serving.

The company also maintained the RS2 in IAG’s flour breaks down during cooking at temperatures over 180°F (82°C), so it is suitable for raw vegan foods.

banana flour 3 levels of resistant starch benefits

What is resistant starch?

RS2 is a dietary fiber that cannot be digested by the small intestine and enters the colon unaltered, which means it is good for promoting digestive regularity. The starch also stimulates the growth and activity of beneficial gut bacteria, while reducing potentially harmful bacteria, like E. coli​.

It is classified as a dietary fiber, providing approximately 2kcal/g, according to the British Nutritional Foundation.

Repurposing reject bananas

Another big plus, according to IAG, is the decrease in banana waste by producing flour. The North-Carolina, US, company practices sustainable harvesting, and helps reduce food waste around the world and claimed that approximately 20% of commercially-grown bananas don’t make it to the market because of discoloration, the wrong size or shape.

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