Food Law News - UK - 1996

1 May 1996: NUTRITION - Dietary Fibre

1 May 1996 - MAFF Letter


Following continuing discussions (and controversy) about how to define dietary fire for labelling purposes, MAFF has issued draft amended guidance to take into account developments in food products and at an EC level.

UK practice has been to require data on the fibre content of foods to be declared on the basis of "non starch polysaccharides (NSP) as measured by the technique of Englyst". This definition was used by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy to recommend a daily fibre intake of 18g (the Dietary Reference Value - DRV). Subsequently, the Food Advisory Committee gave guidance on the use of claims based on this figure.

However most other EC countries use the AOAC method for the determination of fibre. The draft guidance will now permit the use of alternative techniques but recommends that, when data is not based on the UK method, then the label should include a statement clarifying the basis of any declaration and the method of analysis used. Similarly, if claims about fibre are made on the basis of definitions and methods of measurement recommended in other countries, the claims cannot be related to the UK's DRV of 18g per day. Additional information will be needed relating the claim to an appropriate DRV.

The MAFF letter requests comments by 17 June 1996.

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