– New Wheat Varieties Could Have Significant Health Benefits by Reducing Risk of Diabetes and Increasing Dietary Fiber –
DAVIS, Calif. (March 9, 2011) – Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., an agricultural technology company focused on developing technologies and products that benefit the environment and human health, today announced that it has received a Fast-Track Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award worth $1.02 million from the US National Institutes for Health (NIH) to further develop wheat with a high level of resistant starch. Under the award, Arcadia received Phase I funding of $144,000 and anticipates an additional Phase II award of $876,000 upon completion of its Phase I work.
Resistant starch is a type of starch that is not digested in the upper intestine, and is instead fermented in the large intestine. Because of this, the rapid rise in glucose levels after a meal is reduced and glucose is released more steadily into the bloodstream. This leads to an increased feeling of satiety over a longer time period. In addition, fermentation of resistant starch in the lower intestine leads to short chain fatty acid production, which promotes colon health.
“Obesity and diabetes are major public health concerns, and developing foods that can tackle these two issues has become increasingly important. With a large segment of the population potentially being pre-diabetic, food choices can be a major determinant in the likelihood of an individual progressing to diabetes,” said Eric Rey, president and CEO of Arcadia. “Because wheat-based foods are pervasive, we think that wheat is a perfect delivery vehicle for the health-promoting benefits of resistant starch. This product could have a significantly positive impact on health and thereby create a major financial opportunity.”
The grant builds on the company’s earlier achievements in developing resistant starch wheat, as well as groundbreaking progress in agronomic technologies. The company has licensed its Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) technology and Water Efficiency (WE) technology to Vilmorin, the world’s leading wheat seed company, and has partial ownership of the North American wheat seed company, Limagrain Cereal Seeds. Arcadia has also made significant progress in the development of Celiac-Safe wheat varieties with reduced levels of specific proteins responsible for symptoms suffered by people with celiac disease.
“Because wheat is the world’s largest cultivated crop, it’s the key focus for the combination of Arcadia’s nutritional and agronomic traits,” said Rey. “Our participation in Limagrain Cereal Seeds with Vilmorin demonstrates our commitment to developing and commercializing technologies that benefit wheat farmers, consumers and the environment.”
About Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.
Based in Davis, Calif., with additional facilities in Seattle, Wash. and Phoenix, Ariz., Arcadia Biosciences is an agricultural technology company focused on the development of agricultural products that improve the environment and enhance human health. For more information visit www.arcadiabio.com.