Bread crust melanoidins as potential prebiotic ingredients

Rose C. Borrelli, Vincenzo Fogliano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Melanoidins are the final products of the Maillard reaction. They are a heterogeneous mixture of compounds characterized by brown color and high molecular weight. The physiological properties of melanoidins have been widely investigated and there is a general consensus on their poor digestibility and bioavailability. In vitro studies on food melanoidins are in many cases limited by their poor water solubility. This problem was recently overcome for bread melanoidins using an enzymatic digestion procedure. Bread melanoidins are constituted by low-molecular-weight, colored compounds linked to the gluten polymer. In this work, melanoidins from different bread types were investigated for their potential prebiotic activity by a static batch culture. Results showed that anaerobic bacteria, particularly Bifidobacteria strains, are able to use bread melanoidins as carbon source. The bacterial growth is different for the various types of melanoidins samples indicating that starting materials and processing conditions have a strong influence on the prebiotic potential of bread melanoidins. In all cases the bacterial growth obtained using bread melanoidins is lower than that previously observed using melanoidins from other sources, such as coffee silverskin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-678
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Bifidobacteria
  • Bread melanoidins
  • Prebiotic capacity

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