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Research Foundation

Starch Spherulites Having Controlled Enzyme Digestibility and Sustainable Glucose Release

Reference Number: 12-25
Inventors: Yong-Cheng Shi and Liming Cai

K-State has developed a novel process to produce starch spherulites having a desired enzyme digestibility, using linear a-glucans. The linear a-glucans are obtained by the debranching of starches and crystallized to give rise to well-developed spherulites. By manipulating processing conditions, A- or B-type spherulites with different digestibilities can be produced. The spherulites release sustainable glucose during hydrolysis.


The graph depicts the in vitro digestion profiles of three spherulite products. In this example, the A-type spherulites produced have higher resistance to enzymatic hydrolysis than the B-type spherulites, which have a constant digestion rate instead. Therefore, these spherulites have unique enzyme digestion curves.



 Technical Merits:

The key aspect of this process is that it produces starch spherulites having a controlled, predetermined digestibility. Existing starch compositions do not offer the flexibility of a controlled digestion and are digested either too rapidly or resistant to enzyme digestion. In this process, the enzyme digestibility of the spherulites is controllable. By manipulating the processing parameters such as solid content and crystallization temperature of the starch mixture, spherulites possessing the desired digestibility can be produced.


  • Foods, bakery products, noodles, pasta

  • Excipients in pharmaceutical applications

Patent Status

  • International Patent Protection (#14/714,457) filed in USA on May 18, 2015.

Kansas State University Research Foundation seeks to have discussions with companies that are interested in licensing and/or research collaborations.

Interested parties should contact:

Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization (KSU-IC)
2005 Research Park Circle Manhattan, KS 66502
Tel: 785-532-3900 Fax: 785-532-3909
E-Mail: ic@k-state.edu