This study was conducted to investigate the sweetness intensity and the potential fecal microbiome modulation of galactooligosaccharides in combination with enzymatically modified mogrosides (mMV-GOS), both generated through a patented single-pot synthesis. Sweetness intensity was performed in vivo by trained sensory panelists. The impact on the human fecal microbiome was evaluated by in vitro pH-controlled batch fermentation, and bacterial populations and organic acid concentrations were measured by qPCR and GC-FID, respectively. Significant growth (p ≤ 0.05) during the fermentation at 10 h of bacterial populations includes Bifidobacterium (8.49 ± 0.44 CFU/mL), Bacteroides (9.73 ± 0.32 CFU/mL), Enterococcus (8.17 ± 0.42 CFU/mL), and Clostridium coccoides (6.15 ± 0.11 CFU/mL) as compared to the negative control counts for each bacterial group (7.94 ± 0.27, 7.84 ± 1.11, 7.52 ± 0.37, and 5.81 ± 0.08 CFU/mL, respectively) at the same time of fermentation. Likewise, the corresponding significant increase in production of SCFA in mMV-GOS at 10 h of fermentation, mainly seen in acetate (20.32 ± 2.56 mM) and propionate (9.49 ± 1.44 mM) production compared to a negative control at the same time (8.15 ± 1.97 and 1.86 ± 0.24 mM), is in line with a positive control (short-chain fructooligosaccharides; 46.74 ± 12.13 and 6.51 ± 1.91 mM, respectively) revealing a selective fermentation. In conclusion, these substrates could be considered as novel candidate prebiotic sweeteners, foreseeing a feasible and innovative approach targeting the sucrose content reduction in food. This new ingredient could provide health benefits when evaluated in human studies by combining sweetness and prebiotic fiber functionality.
Keywords: GOS; Siraitia grosvenorii; functional food; probiotic; sugar substitute.