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Making seafood products with a high-fiber content.

In the last dozen years or so, different scientific and public health organizations have recommended increasing the consumption of dietary fiber dietary fiber
Coarse, indigestible plant matter, consisting primarily of polysaccharides, that when eaten stimulates intestinal peristalsis.
 among European populations by at least 50%. In turn, the media coverage of the health benefits of dietary fiber has helped spur on consumer demand, and a boom in the development of dietary fiber-enriched products has taken place.

Some fiber components have antioxidant antioxidant, substance that prevents or slows the breakdown of another substance by oxygen. Synthetic and natural antioxidants are used to slow the deterioration of gasoline and rubber, and such antioxidants as vitamin C (ascorbic acid), butylated hydroxytoluene  effects. There have been proposals to classify these components as antioxidant dietary fiber. An antioxidant capacity must be an intrinsic property derived from the natural constituents of a material, and not obtained by an adding an antioxidant or by components released by previous chemical or enzymatic treatments.

Restructured seafood products, in which the fish muscle is broken into smaller or bigger pieces and reshaped to a specific form with a given texture, color or appearance, are very good carriers for the inclusion of some functional ingredients. With this approach, it's possible to introduce dietary fibers into seafood products. If they are antioxidants Antioxidants
Substances that reduce the damage of the highly reactive free radicals that are the byproducts of the cells.

Mentioned in: Aging, Nutritional Supplements

, the ingredients can provide products with extra benefits, such the ability to maintain the stability of lipids, which are intrinsically present in fish muscle.

Fibers can be extracted from various plant materials, such as the waste fractions from grapes after wine production. This material can be converted to a form suitable for mixing into seafood products. Fibers may be extracted from seaweed seaweed, name commonly used for the multicellular marine algae. Simpler forms, consisting of one cell (e.g., the diatom) or of a few cells, are not generally called seaweeds; these tiny plants help to make up plankton.  and used in the same way.

Dietary fiber comes from the thick cell wall of plants. It is an indigestible in·di·gest·i·ble  
Difficult or impossible to digest: an indigestible meal.

 complex carbohydrate complex carbohydrate
A polysaccharide consisting of a chain of glucose molecules; starch.
. Fiber is divided into two general categories: water-soluble and water-insoluble fiber. The current American diet averages only about 10 g of dietary fiber, whereas consumption of 25 g to 40 g is linked to a reduced risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer colon cancer, cancer of any part of the colon (often called the large intestine). Colon cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in the United States.  and other intestinal disorders.

Further information. Mercedes Careche, Instituto del Frio, C/Jose Antonio Novais, 10 Madrid E-28040 Spain; phone: +34 91 549 2300; fax: +34 91 549 3627; email:
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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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