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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Holt, Scott
item Miller-fosmore, Candace
item Cote, Gregory - Greg

Submitted to: Letters in Applied Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/25/2005
Publication Date: 3/1/2005
Citation: Holt, S.M., Miller-Fosmore, C.M., Cote, G.C. 2005. Growth of various intestinal bacteria on alternansucrase-derived oligosaccharides. Lett in Appl Microbiol. 40:385-390.

Interpretive Summary: We used food-grade bacteria to convert cane or beet sugar to new carbohydrates. These new carbohydrates were tested for their ability to support the growth of various bacteria commonly found in our intestinal tract. We discovered that they supported the growth of certain beneficial bacteria but did not support the growth of potentially harmful or undesirable bacteria. These experiments were done with pure bacterial cultures but show that these new products may be useful in foods or animal feeds. Experiments with mixed natural populations of bacteria should show if they can be used as prebiotics, which are food and feed ingredients that benefit digestion, growth, and health.

Technical Abstract: Our aim was to determine if alternansucrase-derived oligosaccharides can support the growth of various intestinal bacteria. Growth and acid formation were assessed from each culture after five days incubation in a medium containing oligosaccharide as sole carbohydrate source. Enzyme formation in Bifidobacterium species was determined using API ZYM. Most of the Bifidobacterium species tested showed growth on all five of the oligosaccharide preparations tested while coliform and pathogenic bacteria displayed no or little growth. Bifidobacterium species tested displayed an elevated level of alpha-glucosidase activity on the maltose and raffinose oligosaccharide preparations. The alternansucrase-derived oligosaccharides showed potential application as prebiotic dietary supplements to selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial colonic bifidobacterial species.

Last Modified: 06/28/2017
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