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Fiber you can count on!

Fiber you can count on!

Limited fiber marketing claims got you down? Dietary fiber label claims have become problematic lately and the industry is in a state of pandemonium!  Recently defined in the FDA’s final rule on nutritional labeling (published May 27, 2016), most isolated/purified plant fibers don’t even qualify for dietary fiber claims on the label. It’s of no consequence to the FDA, that these isolated fibers are what most consumers identify as dietary fiber (aka the digestion resistant carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, or grains).

Glucomannan, a popular ingredient in weight loss formulas, is an isolated/purified fiber from konjac root. But, Glucomannan is not on the approved list of isolated/purified “fibers” for dietary fiber claims.  The dilemma—unless this fiber is successfully petitioned to be added to the list of isolated dietary fibers (or the FDA adopts a less burdensome definition of fiber), isolated Glucomannan cannot be claimed as dietary fiber.

The silver lining—while you can no longer make dietary fiber claims for isolated Glucomannan (or many other isolated fibers, gums and other non-digestible plant carbohydrates), this ingredient still packs the same dietary punch it’s known for.  While there is a vast array of ingredients for formulators or brands to consider for weight loss formulas, few can compare to Glucomannan. Considered a soluble “fiber” by most, Glucomannan absorbs water in the digestive tract to produce a thick non-digestible gel.  This gel promotes satiety; regulates transit of nutrients through the digestive tract and provides a fermentable substrate to support a healthy a probiotic balance in the digestive system. When combined with healthy diet and exercise, this ingredient may help give consumers an edge in reaching their weight loss goals.

Question—is there a way to reap the rewards of Glucomannan and get a dietary fiber claim?

Enter–whole Konjac root powder! Due to the concentration of Glucomannan in powdered Konjac root, formulating with whole Konjac root powder provides nearly the same benefits as Glucomannan.  Sounds pretty sexy, right? Formulating and labeling with whole powdered Konjac root provides a dietary fiber claim because it supplies fully intact and intrinsic fibers, along with cell wall constituents, and it’s a whole food! Meals with Konjac root have been eaten in Asia for decades as a source of dietary fiber.

Marketing a weight loss product is highly competitive, so building a label that tells a compelling story, is a critical step in branding and building product credibility. The label is the truth barometer, which a consumer will use to confirm marketing messages. Since the Glucomannan ingredient branding is highly recognized for weight loss, building a label without it could result in a lost opportunity. Regulatory guidance from our expert team at NEC, suggests formulating with enough whole powdered Konjac root to provide a legal dietary fiber claim, then supplementing the formula with added purified Glucomannan for additional brand recognition. How’s that for a supplement product, that doubles as a potential marketing goldmine!

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