Caister Academic Press

Emerging Applications of Established Prebiotics: Promises Galore

Seema Patel
from: Probiotics and Prebiotics: Current Research and Future Trends (Edited by: Koen Venema and Ana Paula do Carmo). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2015) Pages: 265-274.


Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that invigorate and boost proliferation of health-promoting bacteria in the gastro-intestinal tract, while inhibiting enteric pathogens. The term prebiotics so far encompasses fermentable carbohydrates and oligosaccharides. Prebiotics were catapulted to prominence after their stimulatory role towards bifidobacteria was recognized. They are currently being implicated as sweetener, fat replacer, starter culture formulation, for bacteriocin induction as well as for gut health maintenance, laxative and colitis prevention. However, their functionality has now ramified to multiple significant domains. The unconventional applications have been met with moderate to excellent success viz. cancer inhibition, immune-augmentation, anti-allergic, diabetes control, cholesterol reduction, cardiovascular risk mitigation, obesity management, sepsis prevention, neural protection, vaginal health restoration, bone density increment, guard for kidney ailments, addressing dermatolgical issues, as well as feed additive and antibiotic substitute in aquaculture and veterinary care. The versatile usage of prebiotics has motivated intense research in this field. The exploration of new biological roles for established prebiotics, generation of new compounds from unconventional sources (even extending beyond carbohydrates) and up-grading of existing technology have been identified as promising. This chapter presents in a nutshell, the known prebiotics and their conventional as well as evolving implications for enrichment of food, drugs, and cosmetics and use in the veterinary sector read more ...
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