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J Appl Microbiol. 2001 Nov;91(5):878-87.

A comparative in vitro evaluation of the fermentation properties of prebiotic oligosaccharides.

Author information

1
Food Microbial Sciences Unit, School of Food Biosciences, The University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, UK.

Abstract

AIMS:

Comparison of in vitro fermentation properties of commercial prebiotic oligosaccharides.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Populations of predominant gut bacterial groups were monitored over 24 h of batch culture through fluorescent in-situ hybridization. Short-chain fatty acid and gas production were also measured. All prebiotics increased the numbers of bifidobacteria and most decreased clostridia. Xylo-oligosaccharides and lactulose produced the highest increases in numbers of bifidobacteria whilst fructo-oligosaccharides produced the highest populations of lactobacilli. Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) resulted in the largest decreases in numbers of clostridia. Short-chain fatty acid generation was highest on lactulose and GOS. Gas production was lowest on isomalto-oligosaccharides and highest on inulin.

CONCLUSIONS:

The oligosaccharides differed in their fermentation characteristics. Isomalto-oligosaccharides and GOS were effective at increasing numbers of bifidobacteria and lactate whilst generating the least gas.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The study provides comparative data on the properties of commercial prebiotics, allowing targeting of dietary intervention for particular applications and blending of oligosaccharides to enhance overall functionality.

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