FDA to approve acacia as dietary fiber opening the door for new product development

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Photo Credit: Getty Images / mirzamlk
Photo Credit: Getty Images / mirzamlk

Related tags Fda Acacia gum

The FDA said it "intends to propose" that Acacia (Gum Arabic), also known as gum acacia, be added to its approved list of dietary fibers after determining that the scientific evidence available supports that gum acacia can help reduce blood glucose and insulin levels in certain instances.

According to the FDA, dietary fiber can be declared on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels if it includes naturally occurring fibers that are "intrinsic and intact"​ in plants, and added isolated or synthetic non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates that the FDA has determined have physiological effects that benefit human health.

Based on available evidence from observational and intervention studies, the FDA said it has determined that the scientific evidence supports that gum acacia can help reduce blood glucose and insulin levels after it is eaten with a meal containing a carbohydrate that raises blood glucose levels.

READ THE FDA'S FULL GUIDANCE HERE

The decision to add acacia to the FDA's definition of dietary fiber is in response to a citizen petition filed in January 2021 from several industry suppliers of the ingredient including Nexira, Alland & Robert, and Importers Service Corporation.

Industry response: 'A game changer'

Ingredient suppliers Nexira and Alland & Robert commented that they were both "delighted"​ by the FDA's decision to add acacia to the approved list of dietary fibers and recognize the ingredient's physiological benefits to human health. 

“We have provided the FDA with numerous data coming from several clinical trials to support our request that acacia gum be recognized as a dietary fiber. Two laboratories that specialize in clinical nutrition, including one university, have been mandated for the design and realization of the clinical tests. Our citizen petitions included data showing the benefits of acacia gum on blood glucose levels,"​ commented Dr. Isabelle Jaouen, R&D Director at Alland & Robert said.

Nexira also commented that the decision is a "game changer"​ for the industry and that it plans to soon manufacture products with the ingredient in the US. 

“Acacia fiber is easy to use in a large array of nutritional applications and we are convinced it has a huge potential for food and drink developers who want to formulate healthy, natural and organic products," ​said Mathieu Dondain, managing director at Nexira. 

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