Inulin: Properties, health benefits and food applications

Carbohydr Polym. 2016 Aug 20:147:444-454. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2016.04.020. Epub 2016 Apr 8.


Inulin is a water soluble storage polysaccharide and belongs to a group of non-digestible carbohydrates called fructans. Inulin has attained the GRAS status in USA and is extensively available in about 36,000 species of plants, amongst, chicory roots are considered as the richest source of inulin. Commonly, inulin is used as a prebiotic, fat replacer, sugar replacer, texture modifier and for the development of functional foods in order to improve health due to its beneficial role in gastric health. This review provides a deep insight about its production, physicochemical properties, role in combating various kinds of metabolic and diet related diseases and utilization as a functional ingredient in novel product development.

Keywords: Dietary fiber; Fructose; Inulin; Oligo-fructose; Prebiotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Carbohydrates*
  • Food Technology / trends
  • Fructans / chemistry
  • Functional Food
  • Inulin / chemistry*
  • Inulin / metabolism
  • Metabolic Diseases / diet therapy
  • Prebiotics


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Fructans
  • Prebiotics
  • Inulin