Fibre, as your best food companion

04 Jul 2023
Fibre, as your best food companion

Fibre or dietary fibre has lately gained popularity in both specialty food products and common mass-produced goods. Fiber is commonly found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. It is also sometimes called roughage or bulk. It is an essential nutrient, which means it must be eaten in the diet. The FDA defines high-fibre foods as those that include at least 20% of the recommended daily value (DV) of dietary fibre per serving. Foods with a dietary fibre content of 5% or less are regarded as poor sources.

Dietary fibre comes in two primary varieties:
(a) Soluble Fibre. Water readily dissolves soluble fibre, and in the colon, it transforms into a gel-like material. Oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, and psyllium all contain soluble fibre.

(b) Insoluble Fibre. As food travels through the digestive tract, insoluble fibre remains intact because it does not dissolve in water. Insoluble fibre may be found in abundance in whole-wheat products including flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans, and vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, and green beans.


Applications of Fibre in Food Industry
Dietary fibre can be successfully added to processed meat products as binders, extenders, and fillers. By doing so, they can significantly replace the products' unhealthy fat components and increase acceptability by enhancing their nutritional value, pH, water-holding capacity, emulsion stability, shear press value, sensory characteristics, etc. Furthermore, the functional qualities of meat products can be enhanced by adding fibre content..

       Not to forget that the use of dietary fibre in food products can boost the cooking yield and, consequently, the economic benefit. For example, by using our ERA’s products such as wheat fibre, bamboo fibre, oat fibre, apple fibre, and powder cellulose, food processer can yield more than 25% in the reduction of costing and yield better product’s quality.

       The utilization of insoluble fibre can be applied to meat, bakery, fish, surimi, vegetarian & vegan products, dairy and condiments. Furthermore, for dietary fibre to be regarded acceptable, it must successfully serve as a food component in the food product to which it is added.

        For example, from the research studies done by Polizer et al. (2015) and Statsenko et al. (2021), they drew the conclusion that:
  • It is feasible to partially substitute meat and fat in chicken nuggets with pea fibre without sacrificing most of their physicochemical properties or their sensory appeal.
  • Adding wheat fibre to semi-finished beef products boosts their ability to contain fat and bind moisture while also reducing heat-related losses by 12%.
  • By adding Dietary Wheat Fibre to the nugget recipe, you may also increase the consistency and juiciness of the final product,
  • Minimise weight loss during frying by 30–40%.
  • Avoid the production of big ice crystals during freezing.
  • Improve the final product's quality.

What’s the Perfect Fibre?
A publication by Larrauri (1999) in Trends in Food Science & Technology stated that the ''perfect fibre'' should be:
  • Must not contain any nutritionally irritating ingredients.
  • Highly concentrated in a little amount to optimise its usage.
  • Have an adequate level of bioactive components,
  • A balance of soluble and insoluble fibre,
  • No taste, unpleasant aroma, colour, or texture affects.
  • It must have a lengthy shelf life while also not affecting the meal to which it is being added.
  • It ought to be compatible with food processing.
  • It should have a favourable customer perception.
Health Benefits that can be promoted to consumers:
Consuming food products that have been supplemented with dietary fibre can help avoid conditions including obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, and coronary heart disease.
  • For those who consume meat often, this procedure might provide a sizable amount of their daily requirement for dietary fibre.
  • Keeps bowel motions normal.
  • Protects the health of the bowels.
  • Lowers a person's cholesterol.
  • Aids in blood sugar regulation.
  • Helps one reach a healthy weight.

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