Food Safety emphasis (30th Issue, January 2009) – Food safety Platform

Nutrient and also Health - Carbohydrates: Starch and Dietary Fibre

report by Ms. Jacqueline FUNG, scientific Officer, Risk interaction Section, Centre because that Food Safety

In the last issue, we presented the principle of food together fuel that the body. In this and the following issue, us will focus on carbohydrates. Carbohydrates space compounds consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen that space in a set ratio. Depending on the intricacy of the chemical structures, they deserve to be separated into an easy and complex carbohydrates. Us will more examine simple carbohydrates, which encompass monosaccharides and also disaccharides, in the next issue. Here we concentration on complex carbohydrates (i.e. Polysaccharides), i m sorry we usually refer to as starch and dietary fibre in our everyday life.

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Starch is built of glucose units and also it is the storage form of glucose in plants. Starch can be in the type of lengthy chains of glucose molecules (amylose) or branched chain of glucose molecule (amylopectin). V digestion, these glucose molecules are released for use. When absorbed, glucose deserve to be supplied as fuel immediately, or keep as glycogen (highly branched chain of glucose molecules) in the muscle and also liver because that future use.

Carbohydrate is the body"s preferred energy source. According to the world Health Organization"s recommendation, 55-75% of energy contribution should come from carbohydrates. Grains and also cereals, add to starchy vegetables, such together potatoes and yams, are rich in starch, which administer much that the food power for us. With recommendation to the food pyramid, the is the bottom level which represents the "Eat Most" level. In regards to actual amount, one adult have to eat 3-6 bowls of cooking rice or noodles (one bowl of cook rice or noodles roughly equals to two slices that bread) a day.

Dietary Fibre

Dietary fibre was first described as "portion of food which is derived from cellular wall surfaces of plants which is digested really poorly by person beings". This cell wall surfaces of plant material are mainly cellulose, hemicellulose and also pectin, which room non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). A non-carbohydrate component uncovered in the cabinet wall, lignin, is also included in the group of diet fibre. In other words, not all dietary fibres space carbohydrates. In fact, diet fibre is a varied group that compounds. Till now, there is no consensus on the meaning of diet fibre; however, the general agreement is that NSP are the principal part of diet fibre.

Conventionally, diet fibres space being considered as having no power value. Thus, the ax "available carbohydrate" method total carbohydrate excluding diet fibre as dietary fibres are not accessible for energy.

A simple department of dietary fibres is to team them under soluble and insoluble fibres. These two terms have widespread use and are acceptable to consumer as they have actually been useful in nutrition education for the knowledge of the physiological properties of diet fibres. Generally, dissolve fibres have impacts on glucose and also lipid absorb from the little intestine thereby can aid to regulate diabetes and also prevent high blood cholesterol. Insoluble fibres, ~ above the other hand, have more pronounced effects on bowel habit together they are slowly and also incompletely fermented by microorganisms in the big intestine. Concerning food sources, fruits, oats, barley and legumes have plenty of dissolve fibres, whereas vegetables, wheat and also cereals have much more insoluble fibres.

Positive health impacts of diet fibre are well recognised, it can help to prevent plenty of chronic diseases, such as cancers and also heart diseases. With recommendation to the Chinese adequate Intake (AI), an adult should consume 12.6g of diet fibre because that each 1000-kcal intake a day. In various other words, a 2000-kcal diet need to have about 25g of diet fibre. Send the message by utilizing the Food Pyramid, fruits and also vegetables are the key sources of dietary fibre and we should "Eat More" of these foods. A balanced and also healthy diet should include a minimum of 2 servings that fruits and also 3 servings of cook vegetables (equivalent come 6-8 taels) daily. Acquisition the chance to maximise dietary fibre intake, individuals can pick whole grain commodities whenever available.

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Illustration: A offer of fruit


1, 23,4,567,89
– half piece the large-sized fruit
– One item of medium-sized fruit
– 1/4 cup that dried fruit without included sugars or salt
– fifty percent cup of berry or cut-up fruits
– 3/4 cup that fresh fruits juices without added sugars

After starch and dietary fibre, we will examine an additional group of carbohydrates – sugars the sweets, in the Valentine"s month.