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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011 May;51(5):394-409. doi: 10.1080/10408391003628955.

Will isomalto-oligosaccharides, a well-established functional food in Asia, break through the European and American market? The status of knowledge on these prebiotics.

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Department of Industrial Biological Chemistry, University of Liege - Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Passage des D´eport´es, 2, B-5030 Gembloux, Belgium.


This critical review article presents the current state of knowledge on isomalto-oligosaccharides, some well known functional oligosaccharides in Asia, to evaluate their potential as emergent prebiotics in the American and European functional food market. It includes first a unique inventory of the different families of compounds which have been considered as IMOs and their specific structure. A description has been given of the different production methods including the involved enzymes and their specific activities, the substrates, and the types of IMOs produced. Considering the structural complexity of IMO products, specific characterization methods are described, as well as purification methods which enable the body to get rid of digestible oligosaccharides. Finally, an extensive review of their techno-functional and nutritional properties enables placing IMOs inside the growing prebiotic market. This review is of particular interest considering that IMO commercialization in America and Europe is a topical subject due to the recent submission by Bioneutra Inc. (Canada) of a novel food file to the UK Food Standards Agency, as well as several patents for IMO production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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