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Current Project

Chemistry and the Environment Division (VI)


Number: 2007-017-1-600

Title: What are dietary fibres?

Task Group
Laurence D. Melton

Members: Elke Anklam, Reto Battaglia, Catherine Renard, Robert Redgwell , Monika Fischer, Hans Steinhart, Willie York, Klaus Englyst, Kaisa Poutanen, Simin Liu, and Takahisa Hayashi

To characterize the nature of dietary fibres and how they are altered as a result of food processing, and to offer a clear set of internationally accepted definitions.

Dietary fibre is today defined based on the analytical methods used to measure it. Every method, however, may provide a different answer. What is needed is a more rigorous application of chemistry to define dietary fiber in terms of its components. The components are largely but not entirely macromolecules including polysaccharides and glycoproteins, but also include such other components as polyphenols which may play a crucial role. Measure the different macromolecules which make up the cell wall. A proper understanding of the chemical nature of individual components of dietary fibres can lead to better understanding of how they operate in the plant cell wall and how they act as dietary fibre in the human digestive system. This will clarify differences between extracted dietary fibre and in situ dietary fiber as it occurs in food.




Last update: 16 July 2007


<project announcement to be published in Chem. Int. >

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