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This report looks at the fiber-fortified food and beverage category from two angles. The primary focus is on available fiber ingredients and the suppliers that provide them to the consumables industry. In addition, the report explores the finished products in the marketplace and the Americans that purchase them. The report provides insight to the types of fiber and their proven benefit; the companies that supply the ingredients, including a competitive analysis by fiber type and application; marketplace products; consumer understanding of the category as well as use of fiber-fortified products and more.
Most Americans consume only about half the amount of fiber recommended by the Institute of Medicine. Recognizing that Americans are not consuming enough food-based sources of fiber, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee believed it was critical to make changes to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in order to better inform and educate Americans about their food choices. This emphasis on whole grains and other inherent sources of fiber has impacted product development and reformulation efforts by food manufacturers, and in turn has impacted the fiber food ingredient business. With low fiber intakes, consumers need a variety of options to help them bridge the fiber gap. Adding fiber food ingredients to no- and low-fiber foods that people already like and eat is a practical solution to meet fiber recommendations without adding significant calories to the diet. There are now more than 50 different types of fiber food ingredients available to food formulators.
Historically the terms "soluble" and "insoluble" have been used to classify the specific type of fiber on food labels, in scientific research and in nutrition education efforts with consumers. These terms continue to be used in these industries; however, most fiber authorities would agree that the terms are outdated and do not accurately represent the evolving dietary fiber industry. In this report, these terms are only used to describe specific fiber ingredients, not to classify categories of fiber. Packaged Facts categorizes fiber food ingredients as either conventional or novel. For the most part, conventional fiber food ingredients are those that can be measured using the two approved AOAC International analytical tests for fiber. In this report, conventional fiber food ingredients include those often recognized as insoluble, such as cellulose, and ingredients that are concentrated sources of cellulose such as pea fiber and wheat bran. The category also includes fiber food ingredients often described as soluble, including beta-glucan, and concentrated sources of beta-glucan such as oat bran and barley fiber; gums, as they pertain to this report; pectin; psyllium and modified celluloses. There are some conventional fiber ingredients such as sugar beet fiber, whose total fiber content is about one-third soluble and two-thirds insoluble. Often marketers position it as a soluble fiber, even though more than half of its fiber content is cellulose. Packaged Facts considers a fiber food ingredient as novel if it is one that has not historically been viewed as a fiber food ingredient. This includes, but is not limited to inulin, FOS, GOS, resistant maltodextrin and soluble corn fiber. For the most part, these novel fiber food ingredients are categorized as soluble fiber, or described as possessing properties of soluble fiber, as in the case of some resistant starches.