Effects of pectin supplementation on the fermentation patterns of different structural carbohydrates in rats

Lingmin Tian, Jan Scholte, Klaudyna Borewicz, Bartholomeus van den Bogert, Hauke Smidt, Anton J.W. Scheurink, Harry Gruppen, Henk A. Schols*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

119 Citations (Scopus)


Scope: We aimed to investigate and compare the effects of four types of pectins on dietary fiber (DF) fermentation, microbiota composition, and short chain fatty acid (SCFA) production throughout the large intestine in rats. Methods and results: Male Wistar rats were given diets supplemented with or without 3% structurally different pectins for 7 weeks. Different fermentation patterns of pectins and different location of fermentation of pectin and diet arabinoxylans (AXs) in the large intestine were observed. During cecal fermentation, sugar beet pectin significantly stimulated Lactobacillus (p <0.01) and Lachnospiraceae (p <0.05). The stimulating effects of sugar beet pectin on these two groups of microbes are stronger than both other pectins. In the cecum, low-methyl esterified citrus pectin and complex soy pectin increased (p <0.05) the production of total SCFAs, propionate and butyrate, whereas high-methyl esterified pectin and sugar beet pectin did not. The fermentation patterns of cereal AXs in the cecum were significantly different upon supplementation of different pectins. These differences, however, became smaller in the colon due to an enhanced fermentation of the remaining DFs. Conclusion: Dietary supplementation of pectin is a potential strategy to modulate the location of fermentation of DFs, and consequently microbiota composition and SCFA production for health-promoting effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2256-2266
JournalMolecular Nutrition & Food Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Digestibility
  • Gut microbiota
  • MiSeq sequencing
  • Pectin
  • SCFA


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