In vitro fermentation of arabinoxylan oligosaccharides and low molecular mass arabinoxylans with different structural properties from wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) bran and psyllium (Plantago ovata Forsk) seed husk

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Feb 1;60(4):946-54. doi: 10.1021/jf203820j. Epub 2012 Jan 19.


Ball milling was used for producing complex arabinoxylan oligosaccharides (AXOS) and low molecular mass arabinoxylans (AX) from wheat bran, pericarp-enriched wheat bran, and psyllium seed husk. The arabinose to xylose ratio of the samples produced varied between 0.14 and 0.92, and their average degree of polymerization (avDP) ranged between 42 and 300. Their fermentation for 48 h in an in vitro system using human colon suspensions was compared to enzymatically produced wheat bran AXOS with an arabinose to xylose ratio of 0.22 and 0.34 and an avDP of 4 and 40, respectively. Degrees of AXOS fermentation ranged from 28% to 50% and were lower for the higher arabinose to xylose ratio and/or higher avDP materials. Arabinose to xylose ratios of the unfermented fractions exceeded those of their fermented counterparts, indicating that molecules less substituted with arabinose were preferably fermented. Xylanase, arabinofuranosidase, and xylosidase activities increased with incubation time. Enzyme activities in the samples containing psyllium seed husk AX or psyllium seed husk AXOS were generally higher than those in the wheat bran AXOS preparations. Fermentation gave rise to unbranched short-chain fatty acids. Concentrations of acetic, propionic, and butyric acids increased to 1.9-2.6, 1.9-2.8, and 1.3-2.0 times their initial values, respectively, after 24 h incubation. Results show that the human intestinal microbiota can at least partially use complex AXOS and low molecular mass AX. The tested materials are thus interesting physiologically active carbohydrates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Fiber / analysis*
  • Fermentation*
  • Glycoside Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Molecular Weight
  • Oligosaccharides / metabolism*
  • Psyllium / chemistry*
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Xylans / chemistry
  • Xylans / metabolism*


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Xylans
  • Psyllium
  • arabinoxylan
  • Glycoside Hydrolases