• Article

A comparative in vitro evaluation of the fermentation properties of prebiotic oligosaccharides


Rycroft, C., Jones, M. R., Gibson, G. R., & Rastall, R. A. (2001). A comparative in vitro evaluation of the fermentation properties of prebiotic oligosaccharides. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 91(5), 878-887. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2672.2001.01446.x


Aims: Comparison of in vitro fermentation properties of commercial prebiotic oligosaccharides.
Methods and Results: Populations of predominant gut bacterial groups were monitored over 24 h of batch culture through fluorescent in-situ hybridization. Short-chain fatty acid and gas production were also measured. All prebiotics increased the numbers of bifidobacteria and most decreased clostridia. Xylo-oligosaccharides and lactulose produced the highest increases in numbers of bifidobacteria whilst fructo-oligosaccharides produced the highest populations of lactobacilli. Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) resulted in the largest decreases in numbers of clostridia. Short-chain fatty acid generation was highest on lactulose and GOS. Gas production was lowest on isomalto-oligosaccharides and highest on inulin.
Conclusions: The oligosaccharides differed in their fermentation characteristics. Isomalto-oligosaccharides and GOS were effective at increasing numbers of bifidobacteria and lactate whilst generating the least gas.
Significance and Impact of the Study: The study provides comparative data on the properties of commercial prebiotics, allowing targeting of dietary intervention for particular applications and blending of oligosaccharides to enhance overall functionality.