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Fiber Ingredients Popular as Consumers Attempt to Boost Intake

<p>Understanding the health benefits of fiber ingredients&#0151;and how they work in certain applications&#0151;is critical to successful product development.</p>

According to the scientific report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for American advisory committee, fiber is an underconsumed nutrient.

FDA has established a daily reference value for fiber at 25 g/d. According to a 2014 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), “Fiber intake of the U.S. population," average daily fiber intake was 16 g/d, as reported in the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Fibers—indigestible carbohydrates—offer an array of health benefits, including improved digestive health, support for weight management, improved satiety, and prebiotic benefits to support a healthy gut, underlining the importance of adequate intake.

Fortunately, consumers are making attempts to increase fiber consumption. According to the International Food Information Council Foundation’s (IFIC) 2015 Food and Healthy Survey, 55 percent of respondents reported they’re trying to get a certain amount or as much fiber as possible. Further, 63 percent claimed they considered whether or not a product contained fiber when buying a packaged food or beverage in the year prior to the survey.

Many fiber ingredients such as pectin, inulin, cellulose, lignins and gums are available, each with its own functionalities and health attributes. Understanding the health benefits of fiber ingredients—and how they work in certain applications—is critical to successful product development.

A critical consideration is whether to use soluble or insoluble fibers, which offer different functionalities in a variety of food and beverage applications.

To read more about the research supporting fiber ingredients, as well as advice on formulating with fiber, download INSIDER’s free Fiber Digital Pulse.

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