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Table 1 Current operative definitions for dietary fiber from around the world

From: CODEX-aligned dietary fiber definitions help to bridge the ‘fiber gap’

Organization Definition
CODEX Alimentarius Commission 2009 (Sets International guidance standards for food and food imports). •Dietary fiber means carbohydrate (CHO) polymers with ten or more monomeric units1, which are not hydrolyzed by the endogenous enzymes in the small intestine (SI) of humans and belong to the following categories:
•Edible CHO polymers naturally occurring in the food as consumed
•CHO polymers, obtained from food raw material by physical, enzymatic, or chemical means2
•Synthetic CHO polymers2
1The footnote allows international authorities to decide whether those compounds with DP of 3–9 would be allowed.
2 For the isolated or synthetic fibers in category ‘2’ or ‘3’ , they must show a proven physiological benefit to health as demonstrated by generally accepted scientific evidence to competent authorities
Includes resistant oligosaccharides, resistant starch and resistant maltodextrins when footnote 2 is included.
Health Canada (HC)2010 (A department within the Canadian government responsible for national public health). •Dietary Fiber Consists of naturally occurring edible carbohydrates (DP > 2) of plant origin that are not digested and absorbed by the small intestine and includes accepted novel dietary fibers.
•Novel Dietary fiber is an ingredient manufactured to be a source of dietary fiber. It consists of carbohydrates (DP > 2) extracted from natural sources or synthetically produced that are not digested by the small intestine. It has demonstrated beneficial physiological effects in humans and it belongs to the following categories:
•Has not traditionally been used for human consumption to any significant extent, or
•Has been processed so as to modify the properties of the fiber, or has been highly concentrated from a plant source
Includes resistant oligosaccharides, resistant starch and resistant maltodextrins.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) 2009 (The Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies develops scientific opinions on reference values for the European Union). •Non-digestible carbohydrates plus lignin, including all carbohydrate components occurring in foods that are non-digestible in the human small intestine and pass into the large intestine
Includes non-starch polysaccharides, resistant starch, resistant oligosaccharides.
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) 2001 (Responsible for development and administration of the food standards code listing requirements for additives, safety, labeling, and genetically-modified foods). •Dietary fiber means that fraction of the edible part of plants or their extracts, or synthetic analogues that:
•Are resistant to digestion and absorption in the, usually with complete or partial fermentation in the large intestine; and
•Promote one or more of the following beneficial physiological effects:
laxation
reduction in blood cholesterol
modulation of blood glucose
Includes resistant polysaccharides, oligosaccharides (DP >2) and lignins and resistant starches.
American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) 2001 (Gathers scientific and technical data for global use by grain-industry professionals; currently know as AACCI). •The edible parts of plants or analogous CHOs’ that are resistant to digestion and absorption in the human small intestine, with complete or partial fermentation in the large intestine
•Dietary fiber includes polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, lignin, and associated plant substances.
•Dietary fibers promote beneficial physiological effects including laxation, and or blood cholesterol attenuation, and/or blood glucose attenuation.
Includes resistant oligosaccharides, resistant starch and resistant maltodextrins.
Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2001 (U.S. and Canadian advisory organization of the National Academy of Sciences; provides science- based research and evidence-based analysis to improve national health). Dietary Fiber consists of non-digestible CHOs’ and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants.
Functional Fiber consists of isolated, non-digestible CHOs’ w/ beneficial physiological effects in humans.
Total Fiber is the sum of Dietary Fiber and Functional Fiber.
Includes resistant oligosaccharides, resistant starch and resistant maltodextrins.
NSP Non-Starch Polysaccharides •The skeletal remains of plant cells that are resistant to digestion by enzymes of man measured as non α-glucan polymers measured by the Englyst (Type 2 Method).
•It includes NSP, which is comprised of cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectin, arabinoxylans, beta-glucan, glucomannans, plant gums and mucilages and hydrocolloids, all of which are principally found in the plant cell wall.
Does not include oligosaccharides, resistant starch and resistant maltodextrins.