When a company introduces an innovative product to the market, the individuals helping to lead the charge must have a pioneer spirit. Such is the case with the development of Bay State Milling Company’s new Fiber Lab, which was established to support of the commercialization of HealthSense™ High Fiber Wheat Flour and other innovation pipelines.
Naggie T. Jeradechachai, Cultivar Development Scientist, has brought her pioneer spirit to the Rothwell GrainEssentials Center at Bay State Milling. Challenged with setting up the Fiber Lab from the ground floor, her assignment was no easy task. In addition to the organization of space, Naggie had to determine the correct equipment, processes, staff and training for success. She determined and instituted the proper scientific methodology to provide accurate, repeatable results for in-house fiber research relative to HealthSense.
HealthSense offers increased dietary fiber through exceptionally high levels of starch resistant to digestion. Resistant starch has been shown to have positive health effects, including acting as a prebiotic, providing the fuel for healthy bacteria in the gut, as well as helping to reduce the glycemic response to foods. To properly commercialize the product and provide the most accurate data in a timely and efficient manner, it made sense to add in-house fiber research.
Because testing for fiber is a complex measurement, Naggie called upon her method development experience and counsel from the experts in the fiber world. Her first challenge was to determine the appropriate Total Dietary Fiber (TDF) method for Bay State’s ingredients. Naggie shares, “When we try to compare fiber results, the question we should ask is, ‘what methods were used?’ Different methods can analyze different fiber fractions and choosing the right lab is the key. We currently run CODEX compliant TDF analysis in-house. It took us many trials and errors over a period of two-and-one-half months to get the fiber testing as precise and accurate as we required. The method is intricate and requires a skilled technician to execute. We are lucky to have Nicole Mavilia, R&D Fiber Technician, on board. She has become an integral partner in bringing the fiber lab up to full operation.”
The lab now has the ability to run dietary fiber and other biochemical assays with precision, accuracy and quick turnaround time. The results generated from the lab will allow the company to formulate products with optimized nutrition, select varieties with unique traits, ensure the quality of our products and conduct innovative research to support the company’s strategies.
What are Naggie’s thoughts about the challenge of setting up the Fiber Lab? She states, “It’s been an exciting endeavor for us to develop and staff the Fiber Lab, which is an essential part of the Rothwell GrainEssentials Center technology. We also have the capability to conduct various biochemical analyses to better understand the fundamental nature of end-use nutrition and functionality of the various ingredients we offer. The resulting data will further our research and development work across a portfolio of innovative products.”
Pioneers are willing to take risks and learn from failure with perseverance and determination. It looks like Naggie and Nicole piloted Bay State Milling’s Fiber Lab on the road to success as the company charts new paths in the world of plant-based nutrition.