This review discusses the history and evolution of the state of dietary fiber (DF) with account of refinements in extraction methods and legal definitions subsequent to the launch of DF hypothesis. For a long time, defining and regulating DFs relied heavily on their chemical compositions and analytical methods. Although chemical compositions and analytical methods still play an important role in the definition of DF, physiological activity has also been taken into consideration. The precise definition of DF is still evolving, particularly whether oligosaccharides degrees of polymerization (DP) 3–9 should be considered as DF or not. Decades of scientific research have initiated the expansion of the term DF to include indigestible oligosaccharides with their DP between 3 and 9; hence responding to the positive health benefits of DF as well as fulfilling the needs in food labeling regulations. © 2016

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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