Dietary fibre is a heterogeneous group of components for which several definitions and analytical methods were developed over the past decades, causing confusion among users and producers of dietary fibre data in food composition databases. An overview is given of current definitions and analytical methods. Some of the issues related to maintaining dietary fibre values in food composition databases are discussed. Newly developed AOAC methods (2009.01 or modifications) yield higher dietary fibre values, due to the inclusion of low molecular weight dietary fibre and resistant starch. For food composition databases procedures need to be developed to combine 'classic' and 'new' dietary fibre values since re-analysing all foods on short notice is impossible due to financial restrictions. Standardised value documentation procedures are important to evaluate dietary fibre values from several sources before exchanging and using the data, e.g. for dietary intake research. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.