What is Dietary Fibre?

Cellulose on a leaf.

3rd Aug 2023

by Charlie Helgeson-Lehmann

In This Article

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) tells us that more than 90% of adults do not eat enough fibre. Yet eating fibre can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer as well as improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

How can the food industry bridge this gap for the consumer?

Fibre represents a group of complex carbohydrates (similar to starch) which are found in a range of plant-based foods. These include fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains (wholemeal bread and cereals). Unlike other carbohydrates, however, which are broken down by the body to provide energy in the form of glucose, fibre does not get broken down by the human body. Instead, it passes undigested through the digestive system.

Insoluble fibre

Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in the stomach but rather it absorbs water and increases in size. As it passes through your digestive systems, it creates bulk and moisture to stools and thus reduces the symptoms of constipation. Insoluble fibre also can help promote bowel health and supports insulin sensitivity which reduces risk for diabetes. Food rich in insoluble fibre includes corn, nuts, fruit and vegetable skins and bran. Bran is the hard-outer layer of cereals including wheat, barley, oats and rice.

5 benefits to consumers of insoluble fibres:

  1. More volume – fill the stomach without providing calories
  2. Enhance satiety – more intense chewing and increased secretion of saliva and gastric juice
  3. Shorter transit time – stimulate bowel movement
  4. Prevention of colon cancer – shorter transit time of digestion end products
  5. Promotes insulin sensitivity – less insulin will be produced to decrease the blood sugar levels
Fibre sheets.

Food manufacturers

For consumers to be able to derive the health benefits of insoluble fibre, quality fibre must be used in the manufacturing process.

The SANACEL® Fibre range from CFF Belgium provides natural, insoluble dietary fibre concentrates which offer various health benefits. The product range of insoluble fibres includes SANACEL® cellulose (E460ii) and clean label SANACEL® wheat, SANACEL® oat, SANACEL® bamboo and SANACEL® sugarcane.

Inulin or Insoluble Fibres?

Vegetable Fibres

Fibres are the backbone of plants, in particular of vegetables. CFF clean label products are extracted by a cooking process from the following vegetable origins: sugar cane, bamboo, oat and wheat. These products have a minimum dietary fibre content of 95% with various references depending on their average fibre length.

Other vegetable fibres such as potato, apple and have a total fibre content ranging from 50 to 70% and do contain starch, fat and protein as well.

Motivations for the application of SANACEL® fibres:

✓ Extension of freshness of bread or cakes✓ Development of meat substitutes for vegetarians and vegans
✓ Clean labelling possible without E numbers✓ Allergen free and sugar free foods
✓ Increase of stability and quality of extruded products✓ Enhancement of the flow ability of spices / powdered products (anti-caking agent)
✓ Reduction of cooking losses and fat separation in processed meat products✓ Prevention of water- and oil separation in fillings  

How can we help?

Lehmann Ingredients have a 35 year history in the sourcing and supply of ingredients for customers both in and outside of the UK. Lehmann Ingredients is the proud Sole Partner Distributor of CFF Belgium SANACEL® products within the UK, and supply a number of high-profile organisations from startups, to more established companies leading in various retail categories such as sports nutrition and cereals.

Contact a member of our team by emailing or calling +44 (0) 1524 581560.

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3rd Aug 2023

by Charlie Helgeson-Lehmann