1 May 2006

GI Values Update

Flour Power
Flour is one of the main foods that has the potential to raise our blood glucose. Though you may think you don’t eat much of it, remember it’s the main ingredient in bread, crackers, biscuits, muffins, cakes and most breakfast cereals. We know from our testing so far that all these foods are top of the pops in raising blood glucose. So, the race is on to develop a flour with low GI power.


A new variety of barley, BARLEYmax,™ a hull-less barley with a unique starch profile is looking promising. Developed by Australia’s CSIRO, BARLEYmax™ was used in a recent trial to produce a low GI breakfast cereal. The test food was a typical extruded breakfast flake made with wholegrain barley flour. The BARLEYmax™ flake had a GI of 50 compared with the same product made with conventional barley wholegrain flour (GI 77). The GI testing was in vivo with 30 participants.

Business Manager Geoff Ball says ‘CSIRO identified the genetic basis of barley’s nutritional properties with the goal of developing a barley variety with significantly improved nutritional properties. BARLEYmax™ not only showed it can be used to produce low GI versions of typical popular breakfast cereals, but it is rich in cholesterol lowering soluble fibre, and has high levels of insoluble dietary fibre and resistant starch. The wholegrain flour can also be used to make breads, muffins and other bakery goods, and in taste tests to date, consumers have given the flavour the thumbs up.’

It’s still early days, so don’t go looking for products made from BARLEYmax™ in the marketplace yet. But watch this space. The CSIRO is expecting that the first commercial crop will be harvested in October 2006. We’ll keep you posted when the products using BARLEYmax™ wholegrain flour have been GI tested and are in the supermarket.
– For more information, contact geoff.ball@csiro.au


Anonymous said...

I don't understand why the csiro and other scientists are expending so much energy on developing new foods when perfectly wonderful ones exist already. There is an abundance of legumes, beans and pusles with low GI. Half the world gets by on brilliant recipes using such foods. Why don't we just learn to prepare and eat these foods instead of endlessly fiddling with nature. It costs enormous amounts of money, all this messing about, meanwhile the money would be better spent on solving real problems in the world. Like starvation and overpopulation and environmental degradation.
All our fatness problems could be better addressed by educating people firstly through the school system about nutrition. All our fatness problems wouldn't be if only we stuck with real foods instead of all this goop that food technologists and scientists are churning out. These people have no idea what good food is or what it tastes like. Put the chef back into food and leave out the plant scientists and food technologists.

Anonymous said...

Leave these wonderful people alone!! Their efforts give me more time to help the starving [of food, time, love, etc] taste better than the "goop" I produce in a hurry and generally improve my life.

Anonymous said...

Barley is not a newly developed food, its use going back over 7000 years. While agreeing with anonymous on the need for better education and food preparation, this barley makes wholegrain baked products with low GI that have increased fibre. We think the taste is actually better than for other barleys. Unfortunately not everyone is preparing the nutritious meals we would hope for. Hopefully we can persuade some people to prepare real foods -good tasting foods - with wholegrains with nutritious properties.

Anonymous said...

How about encouraging bakeries to make more whole grain breads - I have been looking for an honest to goodness whole grain bread, made with the entire wheat grain for months and have been unable to find one anywhere.

Anonymous said...

If you want to talk about technology, it's the fancy refined white flour that is the new kid on the block. Barley is very old - anonymous should be happy to see the old foods being brought back!

Also, I believe, quick raise baking methods roduce a higher GI bread, while traditional sourdoughs are low GI...


Anonymous said...

I am a person who needs to eat gluten free foods. When I look up the GI index I see most of the food I rely on eg. gluten free bread made from rice flour and also noodles mainly from rice are very high on GI so I am despirate to know how to handle my diet.

Anonymous said...

Check the labels of packaged foods, but some lower GI gluten-free suggestions typically include:

Grains and flours
Corn tortilla
Basmati, or Doongara Rice
Rice vermicelli
Plain popcorn

Most fresh, frozen, dried, glace
or canned eg apple, apricot, grapefruit, grapes, orange, peach, pear, plum, sultanas.
Most fruit juices

Starchy vegetables
Yam, Taro, Sweet potato

Dairy and Soy
Low-fat custard/custard powder
Low-fat ice-cream
Low fat/Reduced-fat cows milk
Low fat/Reduced-fat soy drink

Legumes, Seeds and Nuts

Breakfast Cereals
Rice bran

Anonymous said...

There is now a Pasta made by "Dreamfields" that has only 5 impact carbs per serving. It is great . Thank God that this company did mess around and find they could remove the high impact carbs and replace them with nutritous grain. It is wonderful and available now in the markets...