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The Australian Paradox

Origins of BARLEYmax®

1. The actions of fibre

CSIRO’s Prof. David Topping and Dr Tony Bird became interested, in what later became BARLEYmax®, during the early 1980s after realising that many of the actions of fibre were through short chain fatty acids (SCFA) produced through fermentation of certain dietary fibre by large bowel bacteria.

2. The Australian Paradox

Prof Topping and Dr Bird questioned ‘The Australian Paradox’ of relatively high fibre consumption but continuing high rates of large bowel diseases. They realised fibres eaten commonly in consumer foods were not the best substrate for large bowel bacteria. Something missing?

Illustration of a large bowel (intestine)
Resistant starch illustration

3. Resistant Starch

The missing fibre was a form of starch, called resistant starch, which is fermented well by the bacteria and produces a favourable SCFA profile.

4. Hungry Microbiome

They christened this deficit the ‘hungry microbiome’ and in 1998 started to look for ingredients for processed foods to feed the bacteria, which would involve Drs Jim Peacock and Matthew Morell.

Microbiome illustration
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