Digestion and fermentation in vitro of polysaccharides from bee collected pollen of Chinese wolfberry (WBPPS) were investigated in the present study. It was found that WBPPS mainly consisted of mannose, ribose, rhamnose, galacturonic acid, glucose, galactose, xylose, and arabinose in a molar ratio of 0.38:0.09:0.17:0.64:0.22:0.67:0.08:1.03, respectively. WBPPS was not affected by human saliva. The fraction A (molecular weight 1340 kDa) of WBPPS was not broken down in simulated gastric and small intestinal juices, while the small fraction B (molecular weight 523 kDa) of WBPPS was degraded. Moreover, fermentation in vitro revealed that WBPPS could significantly enhance the production of short-chain fatty acids and modulate gut microbiota composition via increasing the relative abundances of genera Prevotella, Dialister, Megamonas, Faecalibacterium, and Alloprevotella and decreasing the numbers of genera Bacteroides, Clostridium XlVa, Parabacteroides, Escherichia/Shigella, Phascolarctobacterium, Parasutterella, Clostridium sensu stricto, and Fusobacterium.
Keywords: bee collected pollen from Chinese wolfberry; fermentation; gut microbiota; polysaccharides; short-chain fatty acids; simulated digestion.