New types of nondigestible oligosaccharides were produced from plant cell wall polysaccharides, and the fermentation of these oligosaccharides and their parental polysaccharides by relevant individual intestinal species of bacteria was studied. Oligosaccharides were produced from soy arabinogalactan, sugar beet arabinan, wheat flour arabinoxylan, polygalacturonan, and rhamnogalacturonan fraction from apple. All of the tested substrates were fermented to some extent by one or more of the individual species of bacteria tested. Bacteroides spp. are able to utilize plant cell wall derived oligosaccharides besides their reported activity toward plant polysaccharides. Bifidobacterium spp. are also able to utilize the rather complex plant cell wall derived oligosaccharides in addition to the bifidogenic fructooligosaccharides. Clostridium spp., Klebsiella spp., and Escherichia coli fermented some of the selected substrates in vitro. These studies do not allow prediction of the fermentation in vivo but give valuable information on the fermentative capability of the tested intestinal strains.