The FDA’s definition of dietary fiber has cleared the air of uncertainty, as an approved group of ingredients can now be officially listed on the Nutritional Facts label. One ingredient particularly means exciting things for bakers: oat hull fiber. Aside from the bio-functional value (i.e. laxation, bulking, calorie reduction, etc.), this recognized dietary fiber facilitates clean-label formulation possibilities (21 CFR 101.9(c)(6)(i)).
Despite the recognition of Health Canada in 2009 that Grain Millers’ oat hull fiber is a dietary fiber, in the U.S. and before the FDA ruling, the virtues of these fibers could not be properly defined on labels, thereby limiting the market-introduction of new and novel fiber-rich products. The guidance issued by the FDA in June 2018 identified “mixed plant cell wall fibers” as an isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrate that meets the FDA’s definition of dietary fiber. Oat hull fiber falls within the “mixed plant cell wall fibers” category.
What’s so exciting about oat fiber?
As the FDA definition reveals, it’s a source of dietary fiber—one serving has up to 20g. It’s made up of 96% carbohydrate, with the hull consisting of 30–35% fiber, 30–35% pentosans, and 10–15% lignans, protein, ash, small amounts of vitamin B, tocophenols and totreinols. However, that’s not all it has to offer.
Oat fiber, in addition to offering laxation/bulking, is a highly functional ingredient within food systems, particularly in the fiber-enrichment of cereals, breads, snacks, bars, and even meat products. Properly hydrated, it can absorb and sequester water, improving crumb softness and preserving crumb-humectancy while modulating water activity. In low moisture (< 5% M.C.) baked goods (i.e. crackers, cereals, croutons and chips), longer oat hull fiber types can reduce breakage or costly and excessive protective-packaging during handling and distribution by controlling the friability indices of such low-moisture baked or fried goods.
Specific types of oat hull fibers may also be used as gum replacement or in plating extracts to carry nutraceuticals. And due to its mild flavor and clean taste, your product’s final flavor won’t be negatively impacted.
Clean label baking with oat fiber
While nutritional products are high in demand, so are clean labels. That’s why at Grain Millers we worked to create a clean-label option for oat hull fiber that’s organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. A proprietary, chemical-free, environmentally sound processing technique is used for all of our oat fiber ingredients.
The oat hull fiber product line includes:
- Oat Fiber BCS 20 (water absorption, 200-250% w/v): it can be used in bakery products, ready-to-eat cereals, and snacks.
- Oat Fiber BCS 30 (water absorption, 300-350% w/v): It improves functionality in bakery products (high- and low-moisture systems), ready-to-eat cereals, snacks, tortillas & flat breads, cereal bars, beverages, natural flow aids, batters & coatings, and overall dietary fortification.
- Oat Fiber BCS 30L (lightened): suitable for use in white or light-colored food applications.
- Oat Fiber BCS 30SS (soft & short): it is finely ground to provide soft textures especially in intermediate moisture foods.
- Oat Fiber BCS 30SL (soft & long): It is designed to provide shelf-life extension and resiliency in baked goods and to enhance the crunch in cereals, chewiness in bars, and breakage reduction in snacks.
- Oat Fiber BCS 30XS2 (extra fine): Thanks to its higher solubility, this product is a perfect ingredient for beverages, soft bakes, or as a soluble fiber replacement.
Thanks to the FDA approval of oat hull fiber as a source of dietary fiber, your label and product can take advantage of all these benefits.