FibRefine: Redefining Sugar Reduction with Fiber

Icon Foods FibRefine: Redefining Sugar Reduction with Fiber


Sometimes, dietary goals clash. Consider the reduced sugar & increased fiber conundrum. Sugar and fiber are both carbohydrates, but they are nothing alike. Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that is not absorbed by the body. Unlike sugar, it is essential for a healthy gut microbiome. Sugar, however, is metabolized into the blood stream and causes a series of reactions, including the release of inulin and glucagon. Consuming too much sugar can result in metabolic disfunction, diabetes, and other diseases.

For good reason, consumers are cutting their sugar intake. But in doing so, they sometimes reduce their intake of total carbohydrates—including fiber. When food developers limit carbs, flavor, texture, and other sensory characteristics can be negatively impacted.

Icon Foods’ FibRefine P90 Resistant Dextrin Tapioca Fiber redefines the challenge of healthy sugar replacement in three distinct ways: it reduces harmful carbs, it increases soluble fiber on the Nutritional Facts Panel, and it provides functional benefits to the food or beverage formula.

From a wellness perspective, this ground-breaking ingredient is a prebiotic fiber that can further support digestive wellness. It is also uniquely keto-friendly because of its low net carb contribution.

FibRefine P90 Resistant Dextrin Tapioca Fiber comes from non-GMO cassava root, a plant that grows in the tropics. A simple enzymatic step breaks down the tapioca starch into a prebiotic fiber that is conducive to the keto diet. This meets the FDA definition for dietary fibers “as naturally occurring fibers that are intrinsic and intact in plants, or as isolated or synthetic fibers that have demonstrated a beneficial physiological effect” (1).

This ingredient’s friendly labeling will satiate consumers’ increasing demand for nutritional labels they understand. FibRefine P90 Resistant Dextrin Tapioca Fiber may be labeled as soluble tapioca fiber, soluble vegetable fiber (tapioca), soluble dietary fiber, dietary fiber, fiber, source of dietary fiber, or other similar phrases.

What distinguishes this fiber from many others is that it is technically a resistant starch. According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, resistant starch is defined as “the sum of starch and products of starch digestion not absorbed in the small intestine of healthy individuals” (2). Due to its source, FibRefine P90 Resistant Dextrin Tapioca Fiber is categorized as an RS4 resistant starch. Compared to RS1, RS2 and RS3 resistant starches, RS4 resistant starches have the highest total dietary fiber content, the lowest water binding, and are the most stable during thermal processing.

These attributes, as well as many others, shine in many applications, but especially in challenging reduced sugar formulations where balancing calories and taste are key. FibRefine P90 Resistant Dextrin Tapioca Fiber has a quarter of the calories of sugar with just 190 calories per 100 grams.

n some applications, such as baked goods, it can replace up to 25% of sugar in the formula—allowing for deep cuts in calories. Besides optimizing flavor, it improves texture and lengthens shelf-life by holding in moisture.

In many beverage applications, FibRefine P90 Resistant Dextrin Tapioca Fiber is the ideal solution to reduce sugar and calories. Mouthfeel is also enhanced as FibRefine adds bulk without any grittiness. Because it is clear in solution, it is equally suited for use in fortified waters, teas, and alcoholic drinks, as well as in denser beverages like shakes and smoothies.

Due to its ability to withstand vigorous processing conditions, FibRefine P90 Resistant Dextrin Tapioca Fiber maintains its stability in dairy applications. In fermented or low pH products, and in high heat environments, this fiber remains stable. This is a clear advantage over inulin, another prebiotic fiber, which degrades in acidic conditions.

Yogurts, smoothies, cheeses, and frozen desserts are just a few successful formulations that have been created with resistant dextrin tapioca fiber.

Dips and sauces, snacks, cereal, and confection are other categories in which FibRefine P90 Resistant Dextrin Tapioca Fiber is an ideal plug-in replacement for sugar. It not only provides food and beverage developers with an easy-to-use sugar replacement, but it also meets consumer demand for clean label products.

Health-conscious consumers may recognize the benefits of soluble fiber—including its association with reduced cardiovascular illness and diabesity, as well as its role in supporting gut health. But as essential as fiber is to health, it often fails to resonate with consumers.

While diet-conscious consumers often tally their grams of protein and sugar, most don’t pay as much attention to fiber.

According to the FDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, “more than 90 percent of women and 97 percent of men do not meet recommended intakes for dietary fiber” (3).

Fiber requirements are sex and age dependent. FDA sets a goal of 28 g of fiber for females aged 19-30 and 22g for those over 51. For men, the goal is higher: 34 g for those aged 19-30 and 28g for those over 51.

The lack of dietary fiber is even more stark for those following a keto diet because common sources of fiber such as starches and whole grains are often shunned. Due to the digestive resistance of resistant dextrin tapioca fiber, blood glucose levels rise minimally—making it a valuable tool for keto and diabetic friendly products.

FibRefine P90 Resistant Dextrin Tapioca Fiber is designed to help developers boost fiber content when formulating foods that meet the dietary objectives of today’s consumers. Not only does this ingredient enhance nutrition, but it also helps solve the formulation challenges that food and beverage developers face when reducing sugar. Creating better-for-you products that do not compromise flavor, mouthfeel, or texture is often a difficult goal, but easily undertaken with the help of Icon Foods’ 20 years of experience in clean label sugar reduction. In addition to FibRefine P90, the company has a wide portfolio of natural sweeteners and other ingredients designed for the task. Contact our team today!


1. Wong, Andrea W. “Digesting FDA’s New Regulatory Definition of Dietary Fiber and Its Impact on the US Food and Dietary Supplement Industry.” Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS),

2. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1992, 46 Suppl. 2 S1.

3. “Current Dietary Guidelines.” Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 and Online Materials | Dietary Guidelines for Americans,

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