Fermentation of β-glucans derived from different sources by bifidobacteria: evaluation of their bifidogenic effect

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Jun 8;59(11):5986-92. doi: 10.1021/jf200621y. Epub 2011 May 13.


β-Glucans obtained from barley, seaweed, bacteria, and mushroom sclerotia were incubated with pure cultures of Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium longum, and Bifidobacterium adolescentis for a 24 h batch fermentation to evaluate their bifidogenic effect with inulin as the positive control. The pH value in all culture media was decreased by 0.5-1.5 units. All β-glucans supported the growth of the three bifidobacteria with B. infantis, having a relatively larger increase in populations (3-4 log(10) colony forming units). B. infantis produced almost double the amount of total short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) than the other two bifidobacteria. The SCFA profile of B. infantis had a relatively higher proportion of propionic and butyric acid but less acetic acid than the other bifidobacteria. The utilization of all the β-glucans isolated from different sources regardless of their differences in glycosidic linkages and molecular weight by all three bifidobacteria was comparable to that of inulin.

MeSH terms

  • Bifidobacterium / drug effects
  • Bifidobacterium / growth & development
  • Bifidobacterium / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / metabolism
  • Fermentation
  • Molecular Structure
  • beta-Glucans / chemistry
  • beta-Glucans / metabolism*
  • beta-Glucans / pharmacology


  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • beta-Glucans