Inulin as a heterogeneous blend of fructose polymers is diversely found in nature primarily as storage carbohydrates in plants. Besides, inulin is believed to induce certain techno-functional and associated properties in food systems. Inulin owing to its foam forming ability has been successfully used as fat replacer in quite a wide range of products as dairy and baked products. Furthermore, it is known to impart certain nutritional and therapeutic benefits that extend apart to improve health and reduce the risk of many lifestyle related diseases. Additionally, as a functional ingredient, Inulin has been adopted in various efficacy studies involving animal and human studies to function as a prebiotic, in promoting good digestive health, influencing lipid metabolism and has some beneficial roles in ensuring optimum levels of glucose and insulin. This review article is an attempt to present a comprehensive overview on both techno-functional and therapeutic potential of inulin.
Keywords: Inulin; Jerusalem artichoke; chicory; fat replacer; glycemia; hypercholesterolemia.