Maize starch that has been made indigestible through a chemical process has two effects that you wouldn't expect to find in one nutrient. According to researchers at the Japanese Kao Corporation, it simultaneously boosts energy expenditure, more than digestible starch does, and fat burning.
The researchers performed experiments with 10 healthy men. On one occasion they ate pancakes made with maize starch consisting exclusively of easily absorbed amylopectin - waxy maize starch to be precise [WMS]. On the other occasion the men ate pancakes that had been prepared using hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate from waxy maize starch [HDP] [structural formula shown below]. The composition of the pancakes is shown here below.
After eating the HDP pancakes [black circles] the subjects' oxygen expenditure rose by more than it did after eating the WMS pancakes [white circles]. After consuming a meal containing indigestible maize starch the subjects’ energy expenditure increased by more than after consuming a meal containing digestible maize starch. Sounds strange, doesn't it?
After eating HDP pancakes the subjects burned less glucose and more fatty acids.
"These results may have beneficial implications for weight control", the researchers write. "The magnitude of the increase in energy expenditure and fat oxidation indicates that this effect is biologically relevant and could be important for preventing fat accumulation in the long term by influencing the total fat balance under chronic feeding conditions." The Kao Corporation has already filed a patent for the application.
We can think of another use for the stuff too. Couldn't you also put hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate from waxy maize starch in Vitargo-type products? At present these are still based on amylopectin. If you were to replace these with hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate starch they you'd get a product that provides more energy but helps your fat layers to grow less fast.
Br J Nutr. 2011 Jul;106(1):96-104.