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A method to measure the water-holding properties of dietary fibre using suction pressure

, : A method to measure the water-holding properties of dietary fibre using suction pressure. British Journal of Nutrition 46(2): 247-255

Water-holding capacity (WHC) of dietary fiber is usually considered as the amount of water held but the manner in which water is held by the fiber matrix may be more relevant in understanding the role of fiber in nutrition. A method used to determine WHC under physiological conditions was adapted to determine how strongly water is held by fiber. Solutions of compounds, such as polyethylene glycol, of known osmotic potential are used to generate a suction pressure across a dialysis membrane containing a fiber sample. The WHC at each suction pressure can then be determined. The method can be applied to water-soluble and water-insoluble sources of fiber. Fiber sources studied included potato fiber concentrate, bran and gum arabic. Results are comparable to other similar systems of WHC measurement for gels and suggest that vegetable fiber has water-holding properties more akin to a true gel than bran. Bran has very poor water-holding properties. Differences in WHC between fiber sources are more apparent if WHC is considered as fiber concentration (g fiber/g water). Differences in the water-holding properties could be important in determining fiber activity in the [human] gut.


PMID: 6269572

DOI: 10.1079/bjn19810030

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