Changes to the FDA definition of fiber

Have you heard about the FDA’s changes to the definition of fiber? First:  The formal interpretation of the ruling is below:

FDA’s new definition of a dietary fiber is a fiber that has a “physiological effect that is beneficial to human health.” The definition is limited to fibers that are 1) non-digestible carbohydrates (with 3 or more monomeric units) and lignins intrinsic and intact in plants, such as whole grains and natural fruit and vegetable fibers, or 2) added fibers, such as isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrate fibers, including both insoluble and soluble prebiotic fibers, as long as FDA has pre-approved the fiber as a dietary fiber or as long as the ingredient is already the subject of an FDA-approved health claim.

The list of approved fibers is short at the moment (as of July 2016)-  For now, it includes only cellulose, guar gum, pectin, locust bean gum, and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC).  Oat beta-glucan and psyllium husk are the subject of health claims so therefore approved as well.

Second: We know that our partner suppliers are to be filing proper documentation to get approved.  Insoluble fiber manufacturers are working together for a more industry wide approach. Click here for more information. 

Food companies have 2 years to comply so there is some time.  These changes are part of the new nutrition facts panel.  FDA is also planning to raise the daily value for dietary fiber from 25 g to 28 g for a 2,000-calorie diet—a level in line with current Institute of Medicine recommendations.  This means the levels of fiber required for “good” and “excellent” source claims are higher as well at 7g and 14g (that’s a lot of fiber!)  Stay tuned for updates regarding fiber, and be sure to stay in touch with us at SPI Group!