Pro tip: Resistant starches allow for a keto-friendly formulation

Pro Tip: The four different resistant starches can help formulate keto-friendly baked goods.

In recent years, a growing trend in the baking industry has been the development, launch, and promotion of keto-friendly breads. There is a strong consumer appetite for low carb or zero net carb keto options, but do we really understand what makes a Keto product?

The origin of “keto” stems from the ketogenic diet, which is a high-fat, low-carb diet, much like the popular Atkins diet. By drastically reducing carbs and replacing them with fat, the keto diet forces the body to burn fat, which puts the body into a metabolic state called “ketosis.”

Therefore, bakers are challenged to reformulate everyday baked goods such as breads to reduce carbohydrates. When consuming a slice of white bread, the starches turn into sugar when combined with digestive enzymes. However, resistant starches (RS) are a type of starch that bypasses the small intestine and is not digested in the stomach or small intestine.

What are these resistant starches and in what forms are they available? Let’s look at four types of resistant starches that can be used to create keto formulations.

Resistant starch type 1 (RS1): This type of starch is physically trapped in a food matrix, which slows down enzymatic digestion. RS1 is abundant in whole grain foods, seeds and legumes. Other examples are starches coated with seeds or germs (eg, unprocessed whole grains, legumes such as soybeans, beans, lentils and peas).

Resistant starch type 2 (RS2): RS2 is a granular or crystalline starch that resists digestion. Due to its compact structure, digestive enzymes cannot break it down easily and resist digestion and absorption. You can find this type of starch in raw potatoes, green banana flour, and high amylose corn flour.

Resistant Starch Type 3 (RS3): RS3 starch is a retrograded starch created by cooking and cooling; for example, baked and cooled breads, rice, pasta or even cornflakes. A good example is when a cooked potato is left in the fridge overnight. Due to exposure to cold, some of the starch is converted into resistant starch, which is similar to parboiled rice.

Resistant Starch Type 4 (RS4): RS4 is a synthetic form of resistant starch that is chemically modified to make it slow or resistant to digestive enzymes. High corn resistance is a classic example.

Remember that formulation with new ingredients like RS will require testing and validation to ensure process (water absorption) and shelf life are not affected.

Richard Charpentier is a classically trained French baker, CMB, with a degree in baking science from Kansas State University, and is owner and CEO of Baking Innovation. Connect with him on LinkedIn.