Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued guidance adding eight new fibers eligible to be counted by food manufacturers when calculating total fiber per serving on the new Nutrition Facts label.
The eight new fibers are: mixed plant cell wall fibers (a broad category that includes fibers like sugar cane fiber and apple fiber, among many others); arabinoxylan; alginate; inulin and inulin-type fructans; high amylose starch (resistant starch 2); galactooligosaccharide; polydextrose; and resistant maltodextrin/dextrin.
These also can be counted as fiber on the Supplement Facts label.
In making the announcement, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the FDA is continuing to review petitions for additional fibers and expects to continue evaluating additional dietary fibers on a rolling basis.
“It’s important to note that these determinations are based on a careful review of the scientific evidence suggesting that each of these additional fibers has a beneficial physiological effect. The FDA also issued two denials to petitioners because we did not agree that the evidence submitted met the scientific standards, as described in our March scientific guidance,” he said. “We’re also working expeditiously to complete our review and responses for the other petitions that we haven’t yet responded to.”
Food manufacturers now have additional clarity to help them move forward to update their labels as needed ahead of the compliance date for the updated Nutrition Facts label, which is Jan. 1, 2020 for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales and Jan. 1, 2021 for smaller manufacturers.
“Our goal,” said Gottlieb, “is to make sure that consumers can trust that the latest, tasty fiber-rich snack food or cereal that comes on the market can offer them some real health benefits.”