New Essentials Glycemic Health Brand Pasta Launched Using Hi-maize Natural Resistant Starch

National Starch Food Innovation today announced the launch of a new Hi-maize-enriched pasta by Racconto, a leading U.S. importer-producer of private label and branded Italian pasta. The all-natural Essentials Glycemic Health pasta line from Racconto is the first pasta available to consumers with Hi-maize resistant starch, a natural dietary fiber from corn with many health benefits. Clinical studies have shown the dietary consumption of Hi-maize resistant starch reduces the glycemic and insulin response of foods and significantly reduces insulin resistance in healthy, as well as pre-diabetic, individuals, a key factor in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.(1)

The pasta line will offer consumers a delicious and convenient way to maintain healthy weight, healthy blood sugar levels and energy balance--with no sacrifice on taste. The pasta is rich in whole grain, with 48 grams of whole grain per serving. It's also an excellent source of fiber (11 grams of dietary fiber per serving) and boasts 19% less calories (170 calories) than standard white pasta (210 calories) and 10% less than standard whole grain pasta (190 calories).

The launch follows on the heels of the alarming increase in diabetes prevalence in the United States, which is now driving consumers to turn to dietary approaches to help them maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Currently, 57 million Americans are estimated to have pre-diabetes (either impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance, which indicates the presence of insulin resistance).(2) Research also reveals that high blood glucose is the fifth leading cause of preventable death and is responsible for more deaths than high LDL cholesterol, high dietary salt, low dietary omega-3 fatty acids or high dietary trans fatty acids.(3)

In addition to its health benefits, researchers at National Starch's Texture Center of Excellence found the Essentials Glycemic Health pasta to score big on taste. "When compared with two leading brands in the whole grain pasta market, the Essentials Glycemic Health brand pasta with Hi-maize 260 exhibited a much better flavor profile without the 'woody,' earthy flavor notes typically found in these types of pasta," said Janet Carver, senior leader for the National Starch Food Innovation Culinology team.(4) Agnes Jones, principal culinologist for the National Starch Food Innovation Culinology team adds, "We found that texture, cook times and cooking tolerance were the closest we've seen to regular, commercially made semolina pasta."

The pasta line is available in three varieties (sold individually): penne rigate, rotini and rigatoni. The pasta will retail for $2.99 to $3.49 for a 12-ounce package and will be sold at select grocery retailers nationwide, including Hannaford, Giant and Price Chopper locations. "The Essentials Glycemic Health line is a perfect addition to our portfolio of pastas," said Rod Bambach, vice president of sales for Racconto. "It's a sensible choice for consumers looking to achieve their health and wellness goals, while still enjoying the great taste and enjoyment of authentic Italian pasta."

About Racconto Imported Italian Food Products

Racconto Imported Italian Food Products (Melrose Park, IL, and Naples, Italy) is an international food company specializing exclusively in products from Italy. It is a leading U.S. importer-producer of branded and private label Italian foods, including pasta, olive oil, vinegar, antipasto, condiments and tomatoes. Racconto products are distributed by many of the largest retailers, distributors and wholesalers in the U.S. The marketplace partners of Racconto regard them as a trusted source for developing and implementing comprehensive, authentic Italian foods and programs. For more information about Racconto Imported Italian Food Products, visit or contact [email protected].

About National Starch Food Innovation

National Starch Food Innovation (Bridgewater, NJ) is a leading global supplier of nature-based functional and nutritional ingredient solutions for the food and beverage industries. The company has a strong focus on delivering innovation to meet market and consumer trends in wholesome and natural, texture, nutrition, wellness, vitality and targeted delivery solutions. This vision combined with an extensive, award-winning product range, market knowledge and technical expertise makes National Starch Food Innovation a partner of choice for the next generation of food producers. For more information about National Starch Food Innovation and Hi-maize resistant starch, visit For more information about the health benefits of resistant starch, visit


(1) Dietary resistant starch is an insulin sensitizer Authors: M.D. Robertson, J.W. Wright, J. Batt, D. Russell-Jones and A.M. Umpleby. A37 (P37). Diabetic Medicine (March 2009), 26(1) (Sup l): 14.

(2) National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

(3) The preventable causes of death in the United States: comparative risk assessment of dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors Authors: G. Danaei, E.L. Ding, D. Mozaffarian, B. Taylor, J. Rehm, C.J.L. Murray and M. Ezzati. PLoS Medicine (April 2009), 6(4), e1000058. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.100058.

(4) Culinology(R) is a registered trademark of the Research Chef's Association.

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