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Recent progress on research and applications of non-digestible galacto-oligosaccharides

Recent progress on research and applications of non-digestible galacto-oligosaccharides

International dairy journal 1: 69-80

ISSN/ISBN: 0958-6946

DOI: 10.1016/s0958-6946(99)00046-1

Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are non-digestible carbohydrates, which are resistant to gastrointestinal digestive enzymes, but are fermented by specific colonic bacteria. After the discovery of bifidogenic activity of GOS and the development of an industrial production process by transgalactosidase activity of beta-galactosidases. GOS have been extensively studied for their physiological roles on the intestinal flora and functions. GOS are selectively utilized by bifidobacteria in vitro, and show a bifidogenic effect at a daily intake of more than 2.5 g in human studies, whereas at least 5 g are needed to have effects on stool frequency. It is suggested that the products of fermentation of GOS in the colon, mainly short chain fatty acids, have a role in the improvement of the colonic environment, energy supply to the colonic epithelium, and calcium and magnesium absorption. These physiological effects in conjunction with the physicochemical characteristics of GOS enable GOS to be promising prebiotic food ingredients applicable to a variety of designed foods.

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Accession: 003251350

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