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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 May 30;55(11):4589-95. Epub 2007 May 9.

In vitro fermentation by human fecal microflora of wheat arabinoxylans.

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1
Department of Food Biosciences, The University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AP, Berkshire, United Kingdom.

Abstract

The fermentation of three arabinoxylan (AX) fractions from wheat by the human fecal microflora was investigated in vitro. Three AX fractions, with average molecular masses of 354, 278, and 66 kDa, were incorporated into miniature-scale batch cultures (with inulin as a positive prebiotic control) with feces from three healthy donors, aged 23-29. Microflora changes were monitored by the culture-independent technique, fluorescent in situ hybridization, and short chain fatty acid (SCFA) and lactic acid production were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. Total cell numbers increased significantly in all treated cultures, and the fermentation of AX was associated with a proliferation of the bifidobacteria, lactobacilli, and eubacteria groups. Smaller but statistically significant increases in bacteroides and clostridia groups were also observed. All AX fractions had comparable bifidogenic impacts on the microflora at 5 and 12 h, but the 66 kDa AX was particularly selective for lactobacilli. Eubacteria increased significantly on all AX fractions, particularly on 66 kDa AX. As previously reported, inulin gave a selective increase in bifidobacteria. All supplemented cultures showed significant rises in total SCFA production, with a particularly high proportion of butyric acid being produced from AX fermentation. The prebiotic effect, that is, the selectivity of AX for bifidobacteria and lactobacilli groups, increased as the molecular mass of the AX decreased. This suggests that molecular mass may influence the fermentation of AX in the colon.

PMID:
17488118
DOI:
10.1021/jf070293g
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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