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J Appl Microbiol. 1997 Sep;83(3):367-74.

Growth of enterobacteria on fructo-oligosaccharides.

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Department of Food Science, Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands. Ralf.Hartemink@Algemeen.LenM.WAU.NL


Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) can be fermented by most species of enterobacteria present in the human intestine. Fermentation was confirmed by increased growth rates, low final pH and degradation patterns using high performance anion exchange chromatography (HPAEC). Growth rates were increased when FOS was added to the growth medium. Growth rates on all substrates differed widely between strains within the same species. HPAEC analysis showed that each strain degraded the oligosaccharides differently, but a preference for the smaller oligosaccharides was observed. No differences were observed between the two commercial preparations, the inulo-oligosaccharides and neosugars. Fermentation was rapid as could be determined by acidification tests using cell suspensions. It can be concluded that enterobacteria may play a role in overall fermentation of FOS in the colon and, in addition, due to competitive exclusion, may prevent survival of ingested pathogenic enterobacteria.

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