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Open Access Critical Factors in Determining Fiber Content of Feeds and Foods and Their Ingredients

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Background: Because of its chemical complexity, the estimation of dietary fiber content of feed and food materials is a difficult analytical challenge. Three major fiber analyses are conducted routinely in the United States including crude fiber (CF), detergent fiber, and total dietary fiber (TDF). Objective: Factors crucial to the successful measurement of dietary fibers are described and suggestions provided as to how to overcome potential analytical problems within assays. Methods: An accounting of methodological details that result in variation in fiber concentration values is presented along with suggestions as to how to decrease the variation. Results: CF analysis remains in use in the livestock feed and pet food industries for nutrition labeling purposes in spite of the fact that the analysis does not separate mammalian enzyme-digestible from indigestible carbohydrate components, and values obtained are usually 30–50% of the actual dietary fiber concentration. Detergent fiber methods quantify the insoluble dietary fibers (IDF) accurately, but not the soluble dietary fiber (SDF) components. TDF methods account for intrinsic and intact fibers, isolated and extracted fibers, and synthetic fibers found in feed and food ingredients and complete diet matrixes. Conclusions: The CF procedure should be abandoned as it fails to quantify fiber properly. Detergent analyses quantify IDF. TDF methods quantify both IDF and SDF. Highlights: Accurate dietary fiber quantification is essential given the role of fiber in health and well-being of animals and humans.

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Affiliations: 1: University of Illinois, Department of Animal Sciences, Urbana, IL 61801 2: South Dakota State University, Olson Biochemistry Laboratory, Brookings, SD 57007 3: ANKOM Technology Corporation, Macedon, NY 14502 4: Mertens Innovation and Research LLC, Belleville, WI 53508

Appeared or available online: 02 August 2018

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