Psyllium fiber

Soluble fiber is most commonly found in oats, beans, barley, fruit and vegetable skins, psyllium fiber, nuts, and seeds.

Soluble Fiber

What is Soluble Fiber?

Fiber is made up of both the soluble and insoluble entities. Soluble fiber reacts quickly with water and increases the viscosity of the batter/solution.


Soluble fiber is one of two major types of fiber that will dissolve in water, forming a thick paste. Soluble fiber has been linked to an array of health benefits, as well as practical applications in the food and baking industries. Fiber is often referred to as a “calorie free” carbohydrate because it passes through the gastrointestinal tract without the nutrients or energy being absorbed. Soluble fiber is most commonly found in oats, beans, barley, fruit and vegetable skins, psyllium husk, nuts, and seeds. These products typically have more fiber located in the skins or bran than on the interior part of the food. The FDA recommends about 25 grams of fiber per day for individuals, 25% of that fiber, 6.25 grams, being soluble. The other 75% or 18.75 grams should be insoluble fiber. Eating an appropriate amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber lead to many health benefits.

The health benefits of a diet higher in fiber are numerous. Soluble fiber aids in digestion, acting as a lubricant for the intestines. This results in less residence time in the intestines, as the potentially dangerous chemicals that the waste contains, are pushed out of the system faster. High fiber diets have also been associated with decreased risk of colon cancer and breast cancer. In addition, high amounts of fiber lead to a greater sense of satiety, and a and a lower glycemic index, therefore, high-fiber diets have been associated with weight loss and decreased risk for type II diabetes. Lastly, high fiber diets have been proven to significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, especially when eaten along with a diet low in saturated fats. The effects of this are well documented enough that marketers can advertise health claims about fiber on their products.

Soluble fiber has many uses in the food and baking industry. Most gums, such as guar gum and xanthan gum, meet the definitions for soluble fibers. Products such as these are used widely in the industry as thickening agents for various products, such as baked goods, salad dressings, and sauces. It is uncommon to see these added for additional nutritional value because they will over strengthen, leading to crumb structures that are too tight. It is possible to add some of these soluble fibers to give better volume and rise in baked goods, while also reducing the overall calorie count of that product. This leads to potentially healthier products with similar taste and mouthfeel as other products. An array of soluble fibers exists, all with slightly different properties that lead to the end product that the user is looking for.