Did you know that wood fiber is a common ingredient as a filler in many foods? It is considered “fiber”and it’s a cheap way to add fiber so many companies are using it as such. While fiber is good for us, did you know many of the processed fiber “snacks” or products with “added fiber” most likely are using wood pulp??? Here is a few paragraphs from an interesting article on The Street website:

Most surprising, said Inman, is that he’s been able to remove as much as 50% of the fat from some cookies, biscuits, cakes and brownies by replacing it with powdered cellulose — but still end up with a very similar product in terms of taste and appearance.

“We’re only limited by our own imagination,” Inman told TheStreet. “I would never have dreamed I could successfully put 18% fiber in a loaf of bread two years ago.”

He said cellulose is common in processed foods, often labeled as reduced-fat or high-fiber — products like breads, pancakes, crackers, pizza crusts, muffins, scrambled eggs, mashed potato mixes, and even cheesecake. Inman himself keeps a box of Wheat Thins Fiber Selects crackers, manufactured by Kraft Foods (KFT)’ Nabisco brand, at his desk, and snacks on them daily, clearly unmoved by the use of wood pulp in its ingredients.

“Most consumers would be shocked to find these types of filler products are used as substitutes for items that they believe are more pure,” Yoshikami said. “We would expect increased disclosure to follow increased use of cellulose and other filler products as the practice increases in frequency.” Read the whole article here…

As with anything else, be sure to READ YOUR LABELS and having a little wood pulp as fiber in your diet more than likely will not kill you. However, if you are relying on processed foods where this ingredient is most prevalent, that is another story. 

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