In Vitro Fermentation Behavior of Isomalto/Malto-Polysaccharides Using Human Fecal Inoculum Indicates Prebiotic Potential

Fangjie Gu, Klaudyna Borewicz, Bernadette Richter, Pieter H. van der Zaal, Hauke Smidt, Pieter L. Buwalda, Henk A. Schols*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Scope: This study characterize intestinal fermentation of isomalto/malto-polysaccharides (IMMPs), by monitoring degradation of IMMPs, production of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), lactic acid, and succinic acid as well as enzyme activity and microbiota composition. Methods and results: IMMP-94 (94% α-(1→6) glycosidic linkages), IMMP-96, IMMP-27, and IMMP-dig27 (IMMP-27 after removal of digestible starch segments) are fermented batchwise in vitro using human fecal inoculum. Fermentation digesta samples are taken for analysis in time up till 48 h. The fermentation of α-(1→6) glycosidic linkages in IMMP-94, IMMP-96, and IMMP-dig27 starts after 12 h and finishes within 48 h. IMMP-27 fermentation starts directly after inoculation utilizing α-(1→4) linked glucosyl residues; however, the utilization of α-(1→6) linked glucoses is delayed and start only after the depletion of α-(1→4) linked glucose moieties. SCFAs are produced in high amounts with acetic acid and succinic acid being the major products next to propionic acid and butyric acid. The polysaccharide fraction is degraded into isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMOs) mainly by extracellular enzymes. The smaller IMOs are further degraded by cell-associated enzymes. Overall microbial diversity and the relative abundance of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, significantly increase during the fermentation of IMMPs. Conclusion: IMMP containing segments of α-(1→6) linked glucose units are slowly fermentable fibers with prebiotic potential.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number12
Early online date30 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Digesta
  • Enzyme activities
  • Microbiota
  • Short chain fatty acids


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