Resistant starch: safe intakes and legal status

J AOAC Int. May-Jun 2004;87(3):733-9.


Resistant starch (RS) can provide added values such as health benefits and fiber content to many processed foods without compromising taste and product quality. RS is defined as the total amount of starch and the products of starch degradation that resists digestion in the small intestine of healthy people, and the class is comprised of many chemically and physically distinct entities. Some forms of RS are present naturally in many foods, and average global consumption is estimated at 3-10 g/day. Among the best-characterized forms of RS are those derived from high-amylose maize (HAM). Animal and human studies confirm the health benefits and safety of HAM-derived RS as a food ingredient. Legally, RS can be sold in most countries if it falls under current food classifications. However, approved fiber measurements vary throughout the world, and different methods are required to measure RS derived from specific sources. A particular RS can only be claimed as fiber on the nutrition label (and as a source for a high-fiber claim) if the method appropriate to that product is approved in the country of interest. Similarly, each individual country's regulations must be consulted prior to developing health or other nutrition label claims, such as calorie content for RS-containing products, as these regulations vary widely around the world.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Fiber / adverse effects*
  • Food Labeling
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Food
  • Starch / adverse effects*


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Starch