USDA Beltsville Webinar: Complex Carbohydrates and the Complexity of Carbohydrates

Recorded November 3, 2022

IAFNS is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). CDR Credentialed Practitioners will receive 1.0 Continuing Professional Education Units (CPEUs) for completion of this recorded webinar until November 3, 2025.


Investigations of the biological efficacy and mechanisms of action for dietary fiber (DF) in human health and nutrition are complicated because, unlike many nutritional components which are discrete compounds, DF represents a diverse set of polymeric materials.  Variations in monomeric composition, degree of polymerization, and structural motifs arising from food preparation all impact the digestibility and probiotic effect of different dietary fiber sources. Scientists at the USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BNHRC) seek to address issues related to these challenges by performing interdisciplinary collaborative research. Their preliminary studies are highlighted in this presentation.

Dr. Dave Luthria will describe his work on high-throughput fiber analysis using automated Ankom Technology, including highlighting the challenges associated with commonly used methodologies for fiber analysis. The pros and cons of different methods used for fiber analysis will be reviewed. Dr. Allen Smith will present his work on examining the biological effects of a food ingredient, resistant potato starch, on the gut microbiome and its impact on inflammation in rodent models. Dr. Thomas Wang will describe his work in a diet-induced-obesity rodent model where different resistant starch levels from cooked rice varietals were used to determine the biological efficacy and mechanism of action for resistant starch in a whole food.  Finally, Dr. Michael Bukowski will close by describing the future of complex carbohydrate analysis using a combination analytical chemistry and polymer analysis techniques.

Webinar program:

Overview of the USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center
Naomi K. Fukagawa

Research Advances and Challenges in Dietary Fiber Analyses
Dave Luthria, PhD

Research Plans to Improve Carbohydrate Analyses
Mike Bukowski, PhD

Effect of Resistant Starch as an Ingredient on Animal Gut Health
Allen Smith, PhD

Food and Nutrition Research: Carbohydrates in Select Foods, Raw and Processed
Pamela Pehrsson

Rice as a Source of Resistant Starch and Diet Induced Obesity and Gut Microbiome
Tom Wang, PhD

Commission on Dietetic Registration Performance Indicators:

  • 4.1.2 Interprets and integrates evidence-based research and literature in decision-making.
  • 4.2.6 Integrates relevant information with previous learning, experience, professional knowledge, and current practice models.
  • 6.2.3 Analyzes and interprets data to form valid conclusions and to make recommendations.

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