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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

2009 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop processed foods that prevent insulin resistance, obesity related and chronic diseases, and assess their effectiveness in animal models. Process and/or genetically enhance grains, legumes and fruits, and their under-valued co-products to increase the concentration or bioactivity of dietary fiber, antioxidants or other components that prevent obesity and related chronic diseases.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The insulin resistance will be induced in the Syrian hamster model. Soluble fiber and unsaturated fats prevent insulin resistance in this model. The physical properties of fiber, the physiological, digestion and metabolic analysis of other nutrition components will be determined. Antioxidant components of plant foods will be incorporated into processed foods and their ability to suppress markers of chronic disease will be evaluated in animal models and human subjects. Similar characteristics will be evaluated by human panels. Formerly 5325-41440-003-00D and 5325-21430-009-00D(5/04).

3.Progress Report
Pizza, hamburger sandwiches with potato fries and butter-rich cake were fed to test animals for three weeks. The animals developed hypercholesterolemia, increased abdominal adiposity and other characteristics of obesity-related metabolic disease. Substitution of soluble fiber for insoluble fiber prevented elevation of blood lipids, abdominal adiposity and other undesirable physiological effects of the fast food diets. Analysis of feces showed higher levels of fecal fat and undigested fat. The levels of saturated and trans fat were also elevated in the feces particularly by soluble fiber feeding. We determined genes expressed in liver and adipose of test animals that were fed diets containing byproducts of blueberry juice production and breads containing only wheat, only barley or only oat. Although there were significant physiological effects, in some cases interpretation of the metabolic pathways involved from gene expression data was complicated. These results suggest that multiple bioactive compounds may act together or antagonistically.

1. Soluble fiber prevents absorption of trans fats. Saturated fats are a risk factor for heart disease, which is an important health risk in the United States, and there is a need to better understand and control it. ARS scientists in the Processed Foods Research Unit in Albany, CA fed soluble celluloses to hamsters consuming high fat fast food diets made up almost entirely of a single category of fast food: cheese pizza, hamburger sandwich with fried potatoes, or butter-rich cake for three weeks. These diets increased blood cholesterol, body weight, abdominal fat, fatty liver and other undesirable physiological characteristics while five percent dietary fiber supplementation prevented these adverse effects. Soluble dietary fibers increased total lipid in feces including undigested fat and bile acids and the fatty acid composition of the feces also included a higher percentage of undesirable saturated fats and trans fat than in the diet. Excretion of fat and saturated fats may contribute to preventing symptoms of metabolic disease. This research improves our understanding of the impact of a high fat diet on health and can thereby improve human health.

2. Gene expression in animals fed high fat diets. Information for designing strategies to prevent obesity requires a deeper understanding of gene expression during development of metabolic syndrome. Test animals fed high fat diets developed characteristics of obesity-related metabolic diseases when fed insoluble dietary fiber but not when fed soluble dietary fiber. ARS scientists in Albany, CA, evaluated the expression of more than 30 genes in hamsters, an animal model used widely in the study of fat metabolism. The results confirm correlations that decreases in the gene expression result in increased hepatic cholesterol synthesis and liver LDL receptor expression is increased. Nuclear receptors also play a role in sterol and fat metabolism. This research provides new information to help prevent obesity.

3. Ultrasonic treatment to reduce brown rice cooking time. Brown rice has significantly higher nutrition value than white milled rice but the significantly longer cooking times often discourage its consumption. In the previous year, ARS scientists at Albany, CA, have shown that ultrasonic treatment improved the cooking characteristics of brown rice and reduced cooking time. As a result, an invention disclosure has been filed and approved by USDA. In the past year, research focused on improving the processing conditions has been performed. Research will increase consumption of brown rice and in turn improve human health and add value to rice.

6.Technology Transfer

Number of Active CRADAs1
Number of Other Technology Transfer7

Review Publications
Kahlon, T.S. 2009. Evaluationg Healthful Properties of Cereals and Cereal Fractions by Their Bile-Acid-Binding Potential. Cereal Foods World. 54:(3)118-121

Ishida, B.K., Chapman, M.H. 2009. Carotenoid Extraction from Plants Using a Novel, Environmentally Friendly Solvent. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 57:1051-1059.

Kahlon, T.S., Chiu, M.M., Chapman, M.H. 2009. In Vitro Bile-Acid-Binding of Whole vs. Pearled Wheat Grain. Cereal Chemistry. 86(3):329-332.

Kahlon, T.S. 2009. Chapter 14: Rice Bran: Production, Composition, Functionality and Food Applications, Physiological Benefits. In: Eds. Cho, S.S. and Samuel, P. Fiber Ingredients Food Applications and Health Benefits. CRC Press. Taylor & Francis Group. 305-321.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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