Prebiotic effect of soluble fibres from modern and old durum-type wheat varieties on Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains

J Sci Food Agric. 2012 Aug 15;92(10):2133-40. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.5597. Epub 2012 Feb 1.


Background: Wheat grains are a rich source of dietary fibres, particularly in the western human diet. Many of the health effects attributed to dietary fibres are believed to be related to their microbial fermentation in the gut. This study evaluated the ability of two potentially probiotic strains, Lactobacillus plantarum L12 and Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum B7003, to ferment soluble dietary fibres (SDFs) from modern and ancient durum-type wheat grains.

Results: Fibre microbial utilisation was highly variable and dependent on the strain. SDFs from the varieties Svevo and Solex supported the growth of L. plantarum L12 the best, whereas those from the varieties Anco Marzio, Solex and Kamut(®) Khorasan were good carbohydrate substrates for B. pseudocatenulatum B7003. The highest prebiotic activity scores (describing the extent to which prebiotics support selective growth of probiotics) for B7003 were obtained with SDFs from the varieties Solex (0.57), Kamut(®) Khorasan (0.56) and Iride (0.55), whereas for L12 the highest scores were achieved with the varieties Orobel (0.63), Kamut(®) Khorasan (0.56) and Solex (0.53).

Conclusion: The present study has identified some SDFs from durum-type wheat grains as suitable prebiotic substrates for the selective proliferation of B. pseudocatenulatum B7003 and L. plantarum L12 in vitro. The results provide the basis for the potential utilisation of wheat-based prebiotics as a component of synbiotic formulations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bifidobacterium / metabolism*
  • Dietary Fiber / metabolism*
  • Fermentation
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism*
  • Prebiotics*
  • Probiotics*
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Species Specificity
  • Synbiotics*
  • Triticum / chemistry*
  • Triticum / classification


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Prebiotics