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Health Canada Approves MGP's Resistant Starches as Dietary Fiber Sources

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ATCHISON, Kan., March 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Health Canada recently issued a letter of approval to MGP Ingredients, Inc. (Nasdaq:MGPI) regarding the classification of the company's Fibersym® RW and FiberRite® RW resistant wheat starches as dietary fiber sources in unstandardized foods.

The letter states in part: "After assessing the evidence submitted, we have concluded that the in vitro, animal and human studies provided support that your modified wheat starch products are non-digestible carbohydrates which produce energy-yielding metabolites through colonic fermentation. The demonstration of this effect is sufficient to accept your products as fiber sources."

Tim Newkirk, president and chief executive officer of MGP, commented on the significance of Health Canada's decision. "This accomplishment paves the way for Canadian food manufacturers and consumers alike to benefit from the nutritional, as well as functional, advantages that our Fibersym RW and FiberRite RW resistant starches provide," he said. "We are deeply grateful to Health Canada for recognizing the special attributes that qualify these ingredients as being sources of dietary fiber."

Mike Lasater, vice president of ingredient sales and marketing, added that MGP is, "especially pleased that our role in providing ingredient innovations to support healthier lifestyles can now be further extended to a broader segment of our global society."

The initiative to obtain Health Canada's approval was led by Ody Maningat, Ph.D., vice president of applications technology and technical services at MGP, who expressed considerable excitement and gratitude for the favorable response MGP received from Health Canada following their evaluation of the materials and data submitted. The process involved compiling and supplying results of extensive studies substantiating the fiber-related physiological benefits of both ingredients.

In recent years, the demand for fiber-enhanced foods has increased substantially. "This primarily is the result of heightened consumer interest in the specific benefits of fiber, which include digestive health, gut health, satiety, weight management, blood glucose and insulin control, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, cholesterol reduction, heart and bone health, boosting calcium absorption, strengthening immunity and helping reduce cancer risk," Dr. Maningat said.

Tests show Fibersym RW delivers a minimum 85 percent total dietary fiber while also lowering caloric content. It provides formulation convenience, particularly in commercial flour-based foods such as bread, buns, muffins, bagels, breakfast cereals, pasta and noodles, cookies, pastries, pizza crust and flour tortillas. Additionally, it has a low water-holding capacity that allows for enhanced crispness and ease in formulating higher levels of inclusion to achieve dietary fiber labeling benefits.

FiberRite RW performs as a partial fat replacer and also lowers caloric content in addition to increasing fiber levels. It can be used in food products as wide-ranging as yogurt, salad dressings, sandwich spreads, baked goods, sauces, crème and fruit fillings, confections and frozen desserts.

Both resistant starches possess a neutral flavor, exceptionally smooth texture and white color. "Because they are essentially flavor-free and invisible relative to traditional fiber sources such as cereal brans, they can be incorporated into any number of food systems without affecting the desired taste and appearance of the finished product," Dr. Maningat said.

According to Health Canada, the common name to be used for Fibersym RW and FiberRite RW on food labels is "Modified Wheat Starch." Categorized as RS4 resistant starches, these ingredients are produced using technology developed and patented by Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., (Patent No. 5,855,946). MGP holds exclusive rights to use the technology under a licensing arrangement with the Kansas State University Research Foundation.

About MGP

MGP processes grain-based starches and proteins into nutritional and highly functional ingredients for the branded consumer packaged goods industry. The company is also a leading independent supplier of premium spirits, offering flavor innovations and custom distillery blends to the beverage alcohol industry, as well as high quality food grade industrial alcohol for a wide range of product applications. The company is headquartered in Atchison, Kansas, where a variety of food ingredients and distilled alcohol products are manufactured. Distilled spirits are also produced at company facilities in the adjoined towns of Lawrenceburg and Greendale, Indiana. For more information, visit mgpingredients.com.

CONTACT: Shanae Randolph, 913.367.1480 shanae.randolph@mgpingredients.com

Source:MGP Ingredients, Inc.