WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on March 27 ruled in favor of a citizen petition from MGP Ingredients, Inc. seeking that the company be permitted to list Fibersym RW and FiberRite RW ingredients as fiber on the Nutrition Facts Label of products.
“We are thrilled with the findings and confirmation we received from F.D.A. this week,” said Michael Buttshaw, vice-president of ingredients sales and marketing for MGP Ingredients, Atchison, Kas. “We stand ready to support all our industry partners in providing this long-standing dietary fiber as they create the best food brands possible while complying with the new nutrition facts labeling regulations set to begin in January of next year.”
The F.D.A. said it intends to propose that cross-linked phosphorylated RS4, regardless of source, be added to its definition of fiber. Fibersym RW and FiberRite RW both fall under the RS4 category of resistant starches. The F.D.A. already has determined resistant starches in the RS2 category meet its fiber definition.
“We welcome the positive action by the agency, which validates the leadership position of Fibersym and FiberRite in the RS4 fiber category,” said Ody Maningat, Ph.D., vice-president of ingredients R.&D. and chief science officer for MGP Ingredients. “These two fiber ingredients continue to be the smart choice for food product designers and formulators who are looking to boost fiber and lower calories of many food products while delivering health benefits to the consumers.”
The F.D.A. established a definition for dietary fiber in the May 27, 2016, issue of the Federal Register. Fibers are non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates (with 3 or more monomeric units) and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants. Fibers also are isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates (with 3 or more monomeric units) determined by the F.D.A. to have physiological effects that are beneficial to human health.
MGP Ingredients submitted its citizen petition in a letter dated Oct. 28, 2016. The F.D.A. on March 27 of this year said it determined cross-linked phosphorylated RS4 has physiological effects that are beneficial to human health because scientific evidence suggests it can help reduce insulin levels following a meal containing a carbohydrate that raises blood glucose levels.
Fibersym, a granular RS4 wheat starch, delivers a minimum total dietary fiber level of 90% (dry basis). The fiber exists primarily as insoluble fiber. Fibersym possesses a clean flavor, smooth texture and white appearance, according to MGP Ingredients. FiberRite is the cooked version of Fibersym and has a minimum total dietary fiber level of 75% (dry basis).
Sixteen categories of non-digestible carbohydrates, including mixed plant cell wall fibers, now either are included in the F.D.A.’s definition of dietary fiber or are non-digestible carbohydrates that the F.D.A. intends to propose to be added to the definition of dietary fiber, according to the American Bakers Association, Washington. Until the F.D.A. completes the rule-making process, it will exercise enforcement discretion allowing manufacturers to include these additional fibers and the amount used on the Nutrition Facts Label declaration.
“A.B.A. and its members greatly appreciate F.D.A.’s additional action on dietary fiber sources,” said Lee Sanders, senior vice-president, government relations and public affairs for the A.B.A. “It allows our members and other fiber users to move forward with flexibility to choose fiber sources for products we produce for American consumers.
“The enforcement discretion is significant as it enables bakers and others to move forward confidently as they prepare to comply with the Jan. 1, 2020, nutrition facts labeling implementation deadline.”