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Polydextrose, Lactitol, and Fructo-Oligosaccharide Fermentation by Colonic Bacteria in a Three-Stage Continuous Culture System

By Hollie M. Probert, Juha H. A. Apajalahti, Nina Rautonen, Julian Stowell and Glenn R. Gibson


In vitro fermentations were carried out by using a model of the human colon to simulate microbial activities of lower gut bacteria. Bacterial populations (and their metabolic products) were evaluated under the effects of various fermentable substrates. Carbohydrates tested were polydextrose, lactitol, and fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS). Bacterial groups of interest were evaluated by fluorescence in situ hybridization as well as by species-specific PCR to determine bifidobacterial species and percent-G+C profiling of the bacterial communities present. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) produced during the fermentations were also evaluated. Polydextrose had a stimulatory effect upon colonic bifidobacteria at concentrations of 1 and 2% (using a single and pooled human fecal inoculum, respectively). The bifidogenic effect was sustained throughout all three vessels of the in vitro system (P = 0.01 seen in vessel 3), as corroborated by the bacterial community profile revealed by %G+C analysis. This substrate supported a wide variety of bifidobacteria and was the only substrate where Bifidobacterium infantis was detected. The fermentation of lactitol had a deleterious effect on both bifidobacterial and bacteroides populations (P = 0.01) and decreased total cell numbers. SCFA production was stimulated, however, particularly butyrate (beneficial for host colonocytes). FOS also had a stimulatory effect upon bifidobacterial and lactobacilli populations that used a single inoculum (P = 0.01 for all vessels) as well as a bifidogenic effect in vessels 2 and 3 (P = 0.01) when a pooled inoculum was used. A decrease in bifidobacteria throughout the model was reflected in the percent-G+C profiles

Topics: Food Microbiology
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1128/AEM.70.8.4505-4511.2004
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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