ATCHISON, Kan., March 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Health Canada recently issued a letter of approval to MGP Ingredients, Inc. (Nasdaq:MGPI) regarding the classification of the company's Fibersym ® RW and FiberRite ® RW resistant wheat starches as dietary fiber sources in unstandardized foods. The letter states in part: "After assessing the evidence submitted, we have concluded that the in vitro, animal and human studies provided support that your modified wheat starch products are non-digestible carbohydrates which produce energy-yielding metabolites through colonic fermentation. The demonstration of this effect is sufficient to accept your products as fiber sources." Tim Newkirk, president and chief executive officer of MGP, commented on the significance of Health Canada's decision. "This accomplishment paves the way for Canadian food manufacturers and consumers alike to benefit from the nutritional, as well as functional, advantages that our Fibersym RW and FiberRite RW resistant starches provide," he said. "We are deeply grateful to Health Canada for recognizing the special attributes that qualify these ingredients as being sources of dietary fiber." Mike Lasater, vice president of ingredient sales and marketing, added that MGP is, "especially pleased that our role in providing ingredient innovations to support healthier lifestyles can now be further extended to a broader segment of our global society." The initiative to obtain Health Canada's approval was led by Ody Maningat, Ph.D., vice president of applications technology and technical services at MGP, who expressed considerable excitement and gratitude for the favorable response MGP received from Health Canada following their evaluation of the materials and data submitted. The process involved compiling and supplying results of extensive studies substantiating the fiber-related physiological benefits of both ingredients. In recent years, the demand for fiber-enhanced foods has increased substantially. "This primarily is the result of heightened consumer interest in the specific benefits of fiber, which include digestive health, gut health, satiety, weight management, blood glucose and insulin control, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, cholesterol reduction, heart and bone health, boosting calcium absorption, strengthening immunity and helping reduce cancer risk," Dr. Maningat said.