Many dietary fibres have a fibrous structure, which is why dietary fibres are also known as fibres or plant fibres. Dietary fibres are found in cereals, fruit, vegetables, pulses and, in small quantities, milk. For simplicity’s sake, dietary fibres are divided into water-soluble and water-insoluble ones. Dietary fibres are now considered to be an important component of human nutrition, quite differently from what they are called.
The EU regulation on nutrition labelling assigns a flat-rate calorific value of 8 kJ/g to dietary fibres.
Definition Dietary Fibres
Since some dietary fibres also have a fibrous structure, they are often mistakenly equated with these. In the literature, conversion factors between 2 and 6 are given for dietary fibres, i.e. for cereals and legumes, the higher conversion values apply, for fruit and vegetables about 2-3.
Types and occurrence of dietary fibres
Dietary fibres are present in various vegetable foods in different quantities.
Most dietary fibres are found in vegetable foods.
Dietary fibres are virtually non-existent in animal products. The dietary fibres form a kind of scaffold in the plant that gives it support and stability. The insoluble ones can’t.
As a natural filler, dietary fibres ensure regular and rapid emptying of the intestine.