Carbohydrates occur in food as natural constituents or are added as ingredients. In the last decade a number of novel dietary carbohydrates have been introduced as ingredients for food applications, responding to the growing awareness among consumers of the link between health and diet. One important group is formed by the non-digestible oligosaccharides (NDOs) which may function as prebiotics. In many studies it has been shown that prebiotics in the diet positively influence the human intestinal microbiota. It is envisaged that this will balance the microbial composition in the gastrointestinal tract in favor of health promoting genera such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. In this review we will focus on the degradation of (potential) prebiotics, derived from plant (poly)saccharides, by bifidobacterial glycoside hydrolases. In addition the possibilities to use or produce new classes of NDOs using the most important glycoside hydrolases from Bifidobacterium sp. will be discussed.
- adolescentis dsm20083