In the past few years, people are paying more attention to their dietary habits, and functional foods are playing a key role in maintaining the health of man. Prebiotics are considered as a main component of the functional foods which are usually composed of short chains of carbohydrates. Fructooligosaccharides (FOSs) are considered as one of the main group of prebiotics which have recognisable bifidogenic properties. FOSs are obtained either by extraction from various plant materials or by enzymatic synthesis from different substrates. Enzymatically, these can be obtained either from sucrose using fructosyltransferase or from inulin by endoinulinase. Inulin is a potent substrate for the enzymatic production of FOSs. This review article will provide an overview on the inulin as potent substrate, microbial sources of endoinulinases, enzymatic synthesis of FOSs from inulin, commercial status of FOSs, and their future perspectives.
Keywords: Bifidogenic; Endoinulinases; Fructooligosaccharides; Fructosyltransferase; Inulin; Prebiotics.
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