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Phytochemistry. 2005 Jun;66(12):1476-84.

Molecular properties and prebiotic effect of inulin obtained from artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.).

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Grupo de Investigación de Enzimología, Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular A, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, E-30100 Espinardo, Murcia, Spain.


A high molecular weight inulin has been prepared from artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) agroindustrial wastes using environmentally benign aqueous extraction procedures. Physico-chemical analysis of the properties of artichoke inulin was carried out. Its average degree of polymerization was 46, which is higher than for Jerusalem artichoke, chicory, and dahlia inulins. GC-MS confirmed that the main constituent monosaccharide in artichoke inulin was fructose and its degradation by inulinase indicated that it contained the expected beta-2,1-fructan bonds. The FT-IR spectrum was identical to that of chicory inulin. These data indicate that artichoke inulin will be suitable for use in a wide range of food applications. The health-promoting prebiotic effects of artichoke inulin were demonstrated in an extensive microbiological study showing a long lasting bifidogenic effect on Bifidobacterium bifidum ATCC 29521 cultures and also in mixed cultures of colonic bacteria.

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