Administration of dietary fibers has various health benefits, mainly by increasing numbers of beneficial bacteria and enhancing production of short-chain fatty acids in the colon. There has been growing interest in the addition of dietary fiber to human diet, due to its prebiotic effects. This study aimed to evaluate the prebiotic activity of inulin using an in vitro batch fermentation system with human fecal microbiota. Fermentation of inulin resulted in a significantly greater ratio of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria to Enterobacteria strains as an index of healthy human intestine and elevated butyrate concentration, which are related to improvement of gut health.
Keywords: In vitro fermentation; butyrate; human fecal microbiota; inulin.