Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Food Science and Human Nutrition


Mary Ellen Camire

Second Committee Member

Adrierme White

Third Committee Member

Richard Cook


The United States population is suffering from an overweight and obesity epidemic. Consuming foods that increase satiety (increase in fullness, decrease in hunger) such as soluble fiber may possibly help with weight loss. The objective of this study was to demonstrate that dietary fiber, and especially soluble dietary fiber (in the form of alginate), increases satiety and reduces food consumption that may lead to weight loss. A cross-over blinded study was conducted using overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg/m2) subjects 20-30 years old. Subjects were provided a breakfast containing one of four breakfast cereals: refined grain (control), whole grain, and two refined grain cereals with 1% by weight alginate (high and medium viscosity) one day per week for four weeks. Satiety was measured at baseline and 15, 30, 60, 120, 180, 240 minutes after consuming the test cereals. Cereal hedonics were obtained after the first bite and after finishing the test cereal. Energy intake was measured for the rest of the day using self-reported food records of food consumed on each of the testing days. Analysis of color, density, texture and diameter were measured on each of the cereal treatments. There were no significant differences in satiety ratings or the number of calories consumed for the rest of the day among any of the cereals. Subjects with BMIs of 25.0- 27.5kg/m2 consumed significant fewer calories the rest of the day after consuming the high viscosity cereal (1516.8±549.2) than after consuming the control cereal (1922.4±398.2). The whole grain cereal was found to be significantly different than the other cereals in terms of color and diameter, and received lower hedonic ratings. The addition of a high viscosity alginate may be effective in increasing satiety and decreasing energy intake for weight loss in those who only need to lose a small amount of weight or want to maintain their weight. More research is still needed to demonstrate that sodium alginate causes an increase in satiety and a decrease in energy intake. The University of Maine Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects approved the study design and protocol.