In its first year in retail stores across the USA, a new wheat which delivers three to five times more fibre to consumer products is performing well and will now be marketed to other regions of the world.
Thigh-fibre wheat was developed over 20 years by Arista Cereals, a joint venture between Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO and farmer-led cooperative, Limagrain. The high-fibre wheat is now available in a range of products in the US, including tortillas, pasta and pizza bases.
The high-fibre content was achieved through conventional breeding to ensure more resistant starch than traditional wheat.
Largely lacking in Western diets, resistant starch is a fermentable fibre that is resistant to digestion in the small intestine, and known to improve digestive health, protect against the genetic damage that precedes bowel cancer and help combat Type 2 diabetes.
CEO of Arista cereals, Eric Vaschalde said this is the first ever wheat that has been developed specifically to target human health benefits.
“Our high-fibre wheat has an active prebiotic effect. People who choose this over conventional wheat are able to boost their fibre intake without having to stop eating the foods they love,” Mr Vaschalde said.
He explained that because of the exceptional health properties of high-fibre wheat, Arista’s patents have been aggressively challenged in the United States over the last three years.
“We knew we had a strong patent position, having filed more than 50 patents worldwide, through different patent families. Thanks to the help of patent specialists at CSIRO, the expertise of our stakeholders, and the support of our exclusive partner in USA, we were able to defend our patent position.”
After winning the litigations, all disputes were settled at the end of 2019, under favourable terms to Arista. With a strong patent coverage in many countries such as USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea, and European countries, Arista is now actively working with potential partners interested in capitalising on the health benefits of high-fibre wheat.
Already available in USA, plans are advanced to have high-amylose wheat products available in Australia from 2021 and in Europe from 2022.
At the same time, Arista continues to develop and extend its patent portfolio with improvements to the performance of the high-fibre wheat. The granted patents to Arista in major territories currently extend to 2033 and 2034.
“As shown during previous litigations, Arista has a strong willingness and ability with its partners to actively defend its patent portfolio,” Mr Vaschalde said.