Fiber Options

The Food and Drug Administration has added eight more fiber sources to the dietary fiber regulatory list, allowing additional approved options as bakers and other food manufacturers move forward with Nutrition Facts Panel revisions to meet the Jan. 1, 2020 compliance deadline. The FDA has responded to the American Bakers Association on its citizen petition request specific to the dietary fiber definition.

“ABA appreciates all of the efforts the agency has put forth to finalize decisions on fiber sources under the new definition,” says Lee Sanders, ABA senior vice president, government relations and public affairs. “Bakers and other food manufacturers can now begin to move forward with labeling updates as part of the Nutrition Facts Label (NFL) revisions final rule compliance efforts.”

The FDA responded to many of the citizen petitions requesting that certain isolated and synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates (NDCs) be added to the regulatory definition of “dietary fiber.”

Additionally, the agency issued a guidance (along with supporting scientific evidence review) to identify eight isolated or synthetic NDCs that FDA intends to add to the regulatory definition of “dietary fiber” through rulemaking. 

Specifically, FDA named eight non-digestible carbohydrates it intends to add: mixed plant cell wall fibers; arabinoxylan; alginate, inulin and inulin-type fructans; high amylose starch (resistant starch 2); galactooligosaccharide; polydextrose; and resistant maltodextrin/dextrin.

Further, the new guidance expresses FDA’s intent to exercise enforcement discretion for the new eight recognized fibers when calculating dietary fiber on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels. 

Sensus, manufacturer of Frutafit and Frutalose chicory root fibers, welcomes the announcement that the FDA recognizes inulin-type fructans derived from chicory root as dietary fiber for the new nutrition facts label. The recognition consolidates the fiber status of chicory root fiber in the US and supports further opportunities for healthy food applications in the US.

“Inulin/oligofructose has been clearly shown to support physiological health benefits as assessed by the FDA’s strict criteria,” says Carl Volz, president, Sensus America. “The FDA’s inclusion of chicory root fiber as a dietary fiber in its new food labeling regulations allows our customers to continue marketing their products as sources of dietary fiber and to continue to use chicory root fiber as a tool to reduce calories and added sugar.”

Among the group of fibers on the newly recognized list of dietary fiber sources, oat fiber offers another opportunity to formulate for clean labels. Grain Millers utilizes a proprietary, chemical-free technique for all of its oat fiber ingredients, including the market’s first chemical-free and organically certified oat fiber.

Through its proprietary process, Grain Millers offers oat fiber with a variety of functional characteristics, suitable for applications from beverages to bars, snacks, pasta, cereals, and meat products, including gluten-free, non-GMO, and organic products. 

“In today’s era of demand for transparency and traceability, our oat fiber has always checked all the boxes for discerning consumers,” says Chris Kongsore, executive vice president of Grain Millers. “The recent change in FDA regulations further strengthens our position as a market leader in the supply of organic, chemical-free, clean label dietary oat fiber.”

In food formulation, oat fiber’s functional properties include improved product texture and integrity, as well as enhanced crumb softness in baked goods, according to Grain Millers. Oat fiber is cost-effective, possesses a bland natural flavor with no off-odors, and is available in bags, totes, and bulk shipments.