Functional activity of commercial prebiotics

J. Huebner, R. L. Wehling, R. W. Hutkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

284 Scopus citations


This work established a quantitative score to describe the extent to which prebiotics (fructooligosaccharides, inulin, and galactooligosaccharides) support selective growth of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. The prebiotic activity assay was based on the change in cell biomass after 24 h of growth of the probiotic strain on 1% prebiotic or 1% glucose relative to the change in cell biomass of a mixture of enteric strains grown under the same conditions. From the biomass data, a prebiotic activity score was calculated for five lactobacilli and five bifidobacteria. In general, the scores were dependent on the probiotic bacterial strain tested and the type of prebiotic carbohydrate utilized. The highest score was obtained for Lactobacillus paracasei 1195 grown on inulin (1.17), and the lowest score was for Bifidobacterium bifidum NCI grown on galactooligosaccharides (-1.24). Results reported here provide a basis for evaluating and optimizing combinations of probiotics and prebiotics for applications as synbiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)770-775
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Dairy Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Fructooligosaccharides
  • Galactooligosaccharides
  • Inulin
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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