Dietary fiber research has seen a great deal of progress since the first and second editions of this Handbook. This new edition has been revised and updated by individual authors, with the exception of a few chapters that either have historical value or have data that should be available in a handbook of this nature, even though it may have been written a few years before the publication. I like to define the latter as “classic” chapters that have an essential, timeless nature. Some new authors and chapters have been added, including a new section on cereal fiber that emphasizes the crucial role of associated phytochemicals.
Hugh Trowell passed away in 1989; his chapter has been left untouched. Denis Burkitt passed away soon after the publication of the second edition, in which he had written the opening chapter with me. I have chosen to expand this first chapter without changing the part published in thesecond edition of the Handbook. I have added a second part to that chapter to bring it up to date.
This new edition should give researchers, physicians, nutritionists, and other health professionals a useful and ready source of information, as a handbook should. Again, as in the other editions, we could not ask all the experts in this field to contribute. We hope that our efforts will make this work valuable to everyone interested in this topic. One
new chapter (2.8) discusses a fiber from animal sources. This is an interesting topic in fiber definitions, as dietary fiber is considered to be from plant sources.