Digestibility of branched and linear α-gluco-oligosaccharides in vitro and in ileal-cannulated pigs

Food Res Int. 2020 Jan:127:108726. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2019.108726. Epub 2019 Oct 8.


Isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMOs) may promote health by modulating intestinal microbiota. We hypothesized that the proportion of α-(1 → 6) linkages in IMOs determines their digestibility. Ileal-cannulated pigs were fed diets containing IMO, IMO-DP3 with a greater DP and more α-(1 → 4) linkages, and digestible or resistant maltodextrins. Oligosaccharides were analysed by high-performance anion-exchange chromatography. Compared to IMO, IMO-DP3 contained more panose (18.6 vs. 10.3%) but less isomaltose (7.5 vs. 22.3%) and isomaltotriose (6.1 vs. 12.6%). The apparent ileal digestibility of dry matter were 3% greater for IMO-DP3 and digestible maltodextrin than resistant maltodextrin; the digestibility of IMO was not different from other oligosaccharides. Ileal propionate, isovalerate, and total SCFA was greater for IMO-DP3 and digestible maltodextrin than IMO. In conclusion, IMO was less digestible than IMO-DP3. Structural properties of IMOs are important determinants of their functional properties within the porcine digestive tract.

Keywords: Ileal-cannulated pigs; Intestinal microbiota; Isomalto-oligosaccharides; Prebiotic; Short chain fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Diet / veterinary
  • Digestion / physiology*
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Male
  • Oligosaccharides / metabolism*
  • Swine / physiology*


  • Oligosaccharides