Hot dogs with ketchup and mustard
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the US Dept. of Agriculture issued on Oct. 5, 2017, an updated directive detailing the ingredients that may be used in the production of meat and poultry products. The new Directive now explicitly allows the inclusion of inulin and chicory root fiber in USDA-labeled products. As a result, chicory root fiber may now be used as a functional binder in a variety of meat and poultry products, including hot dogs, sausages, patties, loaves and pâtés.

Inulin, which may be called chicory root fiber when it contains a minimum of 85 percent dietary fiber based on appropriate AOAC method of analysis, is a naturally sourced, label-friendly ingredient. It has the ability to bind water in processed meats, improving the product’s sensory characteristics and boosting yields through cook cycles. It may also be used as a fat replacer in low-fat meat applications.

The directive allows for the ingredient to be added up to 5 percent of the product formulation. Its addition needs to be accounted for in the fiber line of the Nutrition Facts.