Introduction

In recent years, there has been increasing interest in those carbohydrates that escape absorption in the small intestine and enter the colon, where they may have specific health benefits due to their fermentation by the colonic microflora and their effect on gut physiology. This entry considers the definition, classification, dietary sources, methods of analysis, colonic fermentation, and health benefits of both resistant starch and oligosaccharides, and compares them with those of dietary fiber.

Table 1 Classification of resistant starch

Food source

Typea

Content in

Contribution

food

to total RS

(gperlOOg)

intake

Cereal products

RSi

1-9

Minor

containing whole

grains or grain

fragments

Brown breads

Legumes

Pastas

Unripe bananas

RS2

17-75

Very little

Uncooked potatoes

High amylose starches

Bread

RS3

1-10

Major

Cornflakes

Cooked cooled

potatoes

Legumes

Amylose-lipid complex

Others

Not known

Unknown

Modified starches

aRS1, physically inaccessible starch; RS2, resistant granules; RS3, retrograded starch.

aRS1, physically inaccessible starch; RS2, resistant granules; RS3, retrograded starch.

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