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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Method to Enhance Beneficial Bacteria
See also: US Patent Office Full Record

Patent Number: 7182954
Docket Number: 5502
Serial Number: 10407668
Date Patented: 02/27/2007

Technology Description:


Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Illinois discovered an enzyme that can be used to produce prebiotics for animal and human food uses.  Prebiotics are nutrients for beneficial bacteria found in the gut of both human and animal species.  They promote the growth of good or beneficial bacteria that help fight bad bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Clostridia perfringens and Salmonella, which can cause illnesses in both humans and animals. 


This invention is a method for controlling bacterial enteropathogens in animals with specific saccharides made from alternansucrase, an enzyme from food-grade lactic acid bacteria.  In laboratory studies, ARS researchers found that enteropathogenic bacteria (harmful bacteria) may be substantially reduced or inhibited with an effective amount of their composition, which promotes beneficial bacteria.  These saccharides have unique structures, are selective and can be made from agricultural commodities like cane or beet sugar.  Prebiotics can be used to improve feed efficiency and lower the incidence of pathogens in poultry and livestock, and in human foods to improve nutrient absorption and enhance intestinal health.  ARS is scaling up the technology to prepare material for larger-scale feeding trials, and to develop the most economical means for production.  


Large agricultural commodity producers and processors (e.g., starch and sugar companies), smaller nutritional supplement manufacturers, and manufacturers of feed additives could use this technology.                                                    




Please refer to USPN 7,182,954 (Docket #0055.02), “Prebiotic Oligosaccharides via Alternansucrase Acceptor Reactions,” which issued on February 27, 2007.  Foreign rights are not available




Gregory L. Cote

Bioproducts and Biocatalysis Research

Peoria, Illinois 61604-3999

Phone: (309) 681-6319
   Fax: (309) 681-6040




Last Modified: 10/1/2015
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