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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Jun 8;59(11):5986-92. doi: 10.1021/jf200621y. Epub 2011 May 13.

Fermentation of β-glucans derived from different sources by bifidobacteria: evaluation of their bifidogenic effect.

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Department of Biology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, China.


β-Glucans obtained from barley, seaweed, bacteria, and mushroom sclerotia were incubated with pure cultures of Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium longum, and Bifidobacterium adolescentis for a 24 h batch fermentation to evaluate their bifidogenic effect with inulin as the positive control. The pH value in all culture media was decreased by 0.5-1.5 units. All β-glucans supported the growth of the three bifidobacteria with B. infantis, having a relatively larger increase in populations (3-4 log(10) colony forming units). B. infantis produced almost double the amount of total short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) than the other two bifidobacteria. The SCFA profile of B. infantis had a relatively higher proportion of propionic and butyric acid but less acetic acid than the other bifidobacteria. The utilization of all the β-glucans isolated from different sources regardless of their differences in glycosidic linkages and molecular weight by all three bifidobacteria was comparable to that of inulin.

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