This research aimed to develop a method for analyzing specific alginate oligosaccharides (AOS) in a complex matrix such as pig feces. The data obtained were used to study alginate degradation by the microbiota in the large intestine during adaptation, including the individual variation between pigs. A method using an UHPLC system with an ethylene bridged hybrid (BEH) amide column coupled with MSn detection was able to distinguish saturated and unsaturated AOS with DP 2–10. Isomers of unsaturated trimer and tetramer could be separated and annotated. In the feces, saturated and unsaturated AOS were present. The presence of unsaturated AOS indicates that the microbiota produced alginate lyase. The microbiota utilized unsaturated AOS more than saturated AOS. The results also suggested that guluronic acid at the reducing end of AOS inhibits the utilization by microbiota during the first weeks of adaptation. After adaptation, the microbiota was able to utilize a broader range of AOS.
- dietary fiber