Prebiotic potential of new sweeteners based on the simultaneous biosynthesis of galactooligosaccharides and enzymatically modified steviol glycosides

Prebiotics are known for their health-promoting functions associated with the modulation of the colonic microbiota and the products of fermentation. Recently, single-pot syntheses of galactooligosaccharides in combination with steviol glycosides (mSG-GOS) have been developed. This work was conducted to evaluate their prebiotic effect by using faecal inoculum from healthy human donors during in vitro batch fermentations. Additionally, their relative sweetness was evaluated to determine their suitability as food ingredients. The results showed a significant growth (p < 0.05) of bacteria, including the genera BifidobacteriumBacteroides and Clostridium, and a corresponding increase in short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) in comparison to either positive and negative controls. The sweetness equivalence to 1 % w:v of SG-GOS was 0.8 % w:v when compared to sucrose. Considering the bacteria and organic acids analyses and their sweetness values of these new biosynthesized compounds, SG-GOS could act as a prebiotic sweetener with potential health benefits warranting further evaluation through human studies.

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