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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Feb 25;57(4):1354-61. doi: 10.1021/jf802484j.

In vitro fermentation profiles, gas production rates, and microbiota modulation as affected by certain fructans, galactooligosaccharides, and polydextrose.

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University of Illinois, Department of Animal Sciences, 1207 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.


It is of interest to benefit from the positive intestinal health outcomes of prebiotic consumption but with minimal gas production. This study examined gas production potential, fermentation profile, and microbial modulation properties of several types of oligosaccharides. Substrates studied included short-chain, medium-chain, and long-chain fructooligosaccharides, oligofructose-enriched inulin, galactooligosaccharide, and polydextrose. Each substrate was fermented in vitro using human fecal inoculum, and fermentation characteristics were quantified at 0, 4, 8, and 12 h. Gas and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production data showed that short-chain oligosaccharides were more rapidly fermented and produced more SCFA and gas than substrates with greater degrees of polymerization. Lactobacilli increased similarly among substrates. Short-chain oligosaccharides fermentation resulted in the greatest increase in bifidobacteria concentrations. Mixing short- and long-chain oligosaccharides attenuated short-chain oligosaccharide fermentation rate and extent. This study provides new information on the fermentation characteristics of some oligosaccharides used in human nutrition.

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