Caister Academic Press

Prebiotics: Technological Aspects and Human Health

Vanessa Rios de Souza, Camila Carvalho Menezes, Luciana Rodrigues Cunha, Patricia Aparecida Pimenta Pereira and Uelinton Manoel Pinto
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: 275-288.


Prebiotics are known as selectively fermented ingredients that allow modifications in the composition and/or activity of the gastrointestinal microbiota conferring benefits to the host wellbeing. They are commonly described as short-chain carbohydrates containing between two and sixty monosaccharides, which are not digested by human or animal enzymes making them selectively fermented by specific beneficial colon bacteria. Besides promoting the intestinal microbiota, they also prevent the incidence of gastrointestinal infections, modulate the immune system, increase the bioavailability of minerals, regulate metabolic disorders related to obesity and diabetes and decrease the risk of cancer. In addition to the functional characteristics, the use of prebiotics by the food industry has been prompted by their favorable technological aspects. In this chapter we present the main functional and technological aspects of inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), lactulose, galactoligosaccharides (GOS), resistant starch (RS), soybean oligosaccharides (SOS), xylooligosaccharides (XOS) and isomaltooligosaccharides (IMO) read more ...
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