Fibres can be distinguished in soluble, insoluble fibres.
Food fibres are complex carbohydrates that are neither digested nor absorbed by the small intestine and reach the large intestine intact. These fibres can be naturally present in food, synthesised or extracted from raw materials such as acacia gum, cereals, yeasts, sugar beets, apples, citrus fruits, algae, etc. They have a proven effect, notably on intestinal transit or on a drop in cholesterol. Fibres have been known for decades as the ‘broom of the gut’. Today we know that they provide nutritional benefits in acting as dietary fibre. Thus helping to close the fibre gap that can be perceived in most of the countries worldwide.
Prebiotic fibres selectively promote the multiplication of certain bacteria in the digestive system and hence have scientifically proven beneficial effects on the balance of the intestinal flora and on immune defences. According to recent studies, prebiotic fibres could play a role in weight control. In addition some of the fibres improve the taste and texture of products by replacing fully or partially fat or sugar.
This section was written with the help of SYNPA: http://www.synpa.org/