In vitro study on gas generation and prebiotic effects of some carbohydrates and their mixtures

Anaerobe. 2007 Oct-Dec;13(5-6):193-9. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2007.06.002. Epub 2007 Jun 14.


This study was carried out to examine the effect of inulin (IN), fructooligosaccharide (FOS), polydextrose (POL) and isomaltooligosaccharides (ISO), alone and in combination, on gas production, gas composition and prebiotic effects. Static batch culture fermentation was performed with faecal samples from three healthy volunteers to study the volume and composition of gas generated and changes in bacterial populations. Four carbohydrates alone or mixed with one another (50:50) were examined. Prebiotic index (PI) was calculated and used to compare the prebiotic effect. The high amount of gas produced by IN was reduced by mixing it with FOS. No reduction in gas generation was observed when POL and ISO mixed with other substrates. It was found that the mixture of IN and FOS was effective in reducing the amount of gas produced while augmenting or maintaining their potential to support the growth of bifidobacteria in faecal batch culture as the highest PI was achieved with FOS alone and a mixture of FOS and IN. It was also found that high volume of gas was generated in presence of POL and ISO and they had lower prebiotic effect. The results of this study imply that a mixture of prebiotics could prove effective in reducing the amount of gas generated by the gut microflora.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Colon / microbiology*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Fermentation
  • Gases
  • Glucans / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inulin / metabolism
  • Oligosaccharides / metabolism*
  • Probiotics / metabolism
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Gases
  • Glucans
  • Oligosaccharides
  • fructooligosaccharide
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Inulin
  • polydextrose