DIETARY FIBRE DEFINITION
The Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) established a definition for dietary fibre as follows
“Dietary fiber consists of carbohydrate polymers with ten or more monomeric units, which are not hydrolyzed by the endogenous enzymes in the small intestine of humans and belong to the following categories: edible carbohydrate polymers naturally occurring in the food as consumed; carbohydrate polymers which have been obtained from food raw material by physical, enzymatic or chemical means and which have been shown to have a physiological effect of benefit to health as demonstrated by generally accepted scientific evidence to competent authorities, and; synthetic carbohydrate polymers which have been shown to have a physiological effect of benefit to health as demonstrated by generally accepted scientific evidence to competent authorities.
a) When derived from a plant origin, dietary fiber may include fractions of lignin and/or other compounds when associated with polysaccharides in the plant cell walls and if these compounds are quantified by the AOAC gravimetric analytical method for dietary fibre analysis: fractions of lignin and the other compounds (proteic fractions, phenolic compounds,waxes, saponins, phytates, cutin, phytosterols, etc.) intimately “associated” with plant polysaccharides in the AOAC 991.43 method.
b) Decision on whether to include carbohydrates of 3 to 9 monomeric units should be left up to national authorities.”
Dietary Fibre can be obtained from consumption of whole grain cereal products or products reach in cereal Fibre, vegetables and fruits. Consumption of cereal fibre is highly recommended due to its protective effect against
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Gastrointestinal health
The mechanism of action is complex as was recently hypothesized:
Fardet, Anthony. “New hypotheses for the health-protective mechanisms of whole-grain cereals: what is beyond fibre?.” Nutrition Research Reviews 23.01 (2010): 65-134.
Below is a figure from the article showing the Current and the new proposed mechanisms involved in protective effect of whole-grain cereals.
Dietary Fibre analysis: McCleary methods (AOAC 2009.01/2011.25)
More on the health effects of dietary Fibre: Healthgrain forum