chapter  22
Dietary Fiber
Pages 34

In the first edition of Handbook of Food Analysis the

chapter on dietary fiber provided a comprehensive

summary of over 40 methods, creating a record of the

development of fiber analysis (1). In this revised

chapter the focus is much more on methods currently

in use and those appropriate for the analysis of human

foods. The reader may refer to the first edition for

details of the methods that are of particular interest. Since the first edition there has been continued

debate on the definition of dietary fiber and, linked to

definition, the most appropriate methods for fiber

analysis (2,3). A real attempt has been made to arrive

at a single definition and method of analysis through

international consultation. However, universal accep-

tance has not been reached. At least for regulatory and

food labeling purposes, for which most dietary fiber

analysis is required, there is, for the present time, a

general acceptance of certified AOAC (Association of

Official Analytical Chemists) International methods. In this chapter, as the focus is on methods that are

suitable for analyzing human foods, methods that were

discussed in the first edition but are regarded as more

suitable for ruminant feeds than for human foods, such

as the neutral detergent method (4), will not be

discussed. Of recent reviews of the current state of dietary fiber

analysis, that of Cho et al. gives detailed instructions

on the AOAC methods (5). Brief overviews have been

given by Asp (6) and McLeary (7). The report recently

released by the Panel on the Definition of Dietary

Fiber, Standing Committee on the Scientific

Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes, Institute of

Medicine (U.S.A.), gives an excellent overview (3).