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Dietary Fiber and Availability of Nutrients: A Case Study on Yoghurt as a Food Model

Dietary fibers are consumed from cereals, fruit and vegetables, but now are also added in
purified form to food preparations since the roles of dietary fibers in preventing and treating
some diseases have been well documented. Dietary fiber intake in Western countries is
currently estimated to be 16.3-43.4 g per person per day.

According to current recommendations (Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, 2001), the average daily requirement of dietary fiber is 25 g per day for women younger than 50, 21 g per day for women older than 50; 38 g per day for men younger than 50, and 30 g per day for men older than 50.

The addition of dietary fibers to foods confers three different types of benefits. Their
nutritional value motivates consumers to eat increased quantities of dietary fibers, which is
advised by nutritionists. Their technological properties are of great interest to food
manufacturers.

Finally, dietary fibers may also be used to upgrade agricultural products
and by-products for use as food ingredients. Consequently, both the nutritional value and
technological properties of dietary fibers are important in the potential development of a
wide range of fiber-enriched foods for example: bakery products, snacks, sauces, drinks,
cereals, cookies, dairy products, meat products.

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2012 Dello Staffolo et al., licensee InTech. This is an open access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.