Prebiotics Not ‘Fiber’ Under New U.S. Food Labeling Regulations

Food labels cannot list prebiotics as fiber under new food labeling regulations. The FDA has narrowed the definition of dietary fiber, which now excludes inulin and other prebiotics. ISAPP posted comments urging the FDA to recognize the many established health benefits of prebiotics, but our opinion did not prevail. The FDA final rule allows added fiber to include [beta]-glucan soluble fiber, barley beta fiber psyllium husk, cellulose, guar gum, pectin, locust bean gum, and hydroxypropylmethylcellulose.  The FDA expressed its intention to further consider available scientific data on other isolated or synthetic, non-digestible carbohydrates, including inulin. The change of fiber labelling is one of many other changes to the nutrition facts box, including required declaration of added sugars and changes to “reference amounts customarily consumed”. Blog post including many useful links.