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Crude Fiber

Crude fiber is a measure of the quantity of indigestible cellulose, pentosans, lignin, and
other components of this type in present foods.
It is the residue of plant materials remaining after solvent extraction followed by
digestion with dilute acid and alkali. These components have little food value but
provide the bulk necessary for proper peristaltic action in the intestinal tract.

A determination of crude fiber is used in evaluation the efficiency of milling and

separating bran from the starchy endosperm. Crude fiber is also useful in the chemical
determination of succulence of fresh vegetables and fruits; over mature products have
increased levels of crude fiber.
Todays accepted term for fiber is dietary fiber, but this term has only been in use since
late 1970s. Before that, the primitive term crude fiber was used because fiber was not
considered important to health.
Recent research into the roles of dietary fiber components has caused reevaluation of
some of the traditional concepts concerning fiber. Actually, dietary fiber may be an
unfortunate misnomer; a term such as non-digestible portion may be correct since this
dietary component may or may not have a fibrous structure.
The non-digestible or dietary fiber fraction is a complex mixture of different substance.
The major ones are cellulose, the glucose polymer that is predominant material of plant
cells; hemicellulose, a shorter version of cellulose: pectin, the glue that binds plant cells
together with cellulose from the woody cell walls of plants.
Fiber offers a variety of health benefits and is essential in reducing the risk of chronic
disease such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diverticulitis.

Dietary fiber acts to lower the concentration of low density lipoprotein cholesterol in the
blood, possibly by binding with bile acids. The lignin fraction has been identified as the
possible binding agent.
It is a known fact that fiber helps eliminate waste from the gastrointestinal tract
because of its ability to bind water and thus soften the stool.