QUALITY ASSURANCE AND SAFETY OF CROPS FOODS, vol. 1, issue 4, Sp. Iss. SI (2009) pp. 206-212 Published by WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
Introduction At its 30(th) session in South Africa in November 2008, the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) agreed on a definition of dietary fibre. Although many aspects of what can be called ``dietary fibre'' were resolved, the application of this definition raises additional issues in need of resolution. Objectives The goal of this paper is to discuss the major areas at issue in implementing the new Codex definition of dietary fibre: (1) the footnote that individual countries can decide whether they accept oligosaccharides with a degree of polymerization (DP) from 3 to 9 (included) as being fibre; and 2) guidance on which physiological effects are beneficial. Less critical but still important is the issue of animal sources of fibre not requiring proof of a beneficial physiological effect; and the effect of processing on fibre. Results and conclusion Unless all countries accept (or do not accept) that carbohydrate polymers with 3-9 monomeric units are dietary fibre, there will be two, rather than one definition. Again, if each country has its own criteria as to the physiological benefits of fibre and how to verify those benefits there will be as many ``definitions'' of fibre as there are effects accepted by all the member states. Given the importance to consumers, food companies, researchers, and regulatory agencies in having one definition, it is incumbent on all of us in the field to work toward that end.
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