Acacia Gum Fits Definition of Dietary Fiber, FDA Rules

Acacia gum. Image courtesy of Nexira.

Silver Spring, MD—FDA has granted a citizen petition on acacia (also known as gum acacia, or gum Arabic), and has proposed that acacia be included as part of FDA’s definition of dietary fiber.

The citizen petition in question was submitted by Nexira, Alland & Robert, and Importers Service Corporation.

Dietary fiber that can be declared on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels includes certain naturally occurring fibers that are “intrinsic and intact” in plants, as well as added isolated or synthetic non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates that the FDA has determined have physiological effects that benefit human health, according to a constituent update from FDA on the topic.

FDA has determined that the scientific evidence supports that gum acacia can help reduce blood glucose and insulin levels after it is eaten with a meal containing a carbohydrate that raises blood glucose levels.

Firms can submit citizen petitions at any time requesting that additional fibers be added to the definition of dietary fiber. Petitions will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Alland & Robert is “delighted” by the decision, according to a press release from the company. Dr. Isabelle Jaouen, R&D Director at Alland & Robert, said: “We have provided the FDA with numerous data coming from several clinical trials to support our request that acacia gum be recognized as a dietary fiber. Two laboratories that specialize in clinical nutrition, including one university, have been mandated for the design and realization of the clinical tests. Our citizen petitions included data showing the benefits of acacia gum on blood glucose levels.”

Frédéric Alland, CEO, added: “We are extremely satisfied that the FDA agrees with us that acacia gum is a fiber and can be labelled as such. It’s a great news for the American consumers, who will be able to enjoy this natural ingredient in their daily food. Alland & Robert remains committed to providing the highest quality of natural and non-GMO Acacia Fiber.”

Nexira, too, was pleased with the decision, noting that its 2019 proprietary clinical study supplied evidence that acacia gum consumption has beneficial effects on human health, helping FDA make its final decision. Considering the strong scientific evidence on acacia fiber we were confident, but we are satisfied with the FDA decision to add acacia fiber to the approved list of dietary fibers,” declared Olivier Bove, Nexira Regulatory Affairs Manager, in a press release.

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Nexira offers inavea and Fibregum, fiber enrichment ingredients. Manufacturers and brands that include these ingredients can now position their products as a source of dietary fiber.

“Acacia fiber is easy to use in a large array of nutritional applications and we are convinced it has a huge potential for food and drink developers who want to formulate healthy, natural and organic products,” said Mathieu Dondain, Managing Director of Nexira. “As the first Carbon Neutral brand of ingredients, inavea now carries additional claims, to satisfy the demands of manufacturers and end consumers. Nexira would like to thank all of its customers for their patience and for believing in our acacia fiber and its multiple benefits. We extended our capacity in prevision of this promising outcome and are hoping to soon manufacture acacia products in the USA.”