Production of Fructooligosaccharides from Inulin by Endoinulinases and Their Prebiotic Potential

Ram S. Singh* and Rupinder P. Singh

Carbohydrate and Protein Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, Punjabi University, Patiala 147 002, Punjab, India

Article history:

Received March 24, 2010
Accepted April 29, 2010

Key words:

endoinulinase, inulin, fructooligosaccharides, fructans, prebiotic, probiotic, bifidogenic effect, dietary fibre, food industry


The production and applications of food-grade oligosaccharides are increasing rapidly. Amongst them, fructooligosaccharides represent one of their major classes in terms of production. They are relatively new functional food ingredients that have great potential as prebiotics, apart from having a number of desirable characteristics which are beneficial to the health of consumers. These are manufactured either by transfructosylation of sucrose using β-fructofuranosidases or hydrolysis of inulin by endoinulinases. Inulin, a polyfructan, occurs as a reserve carbohydrate in many plant families, representing more than 30 000 species. It is a potent substrate both for the production of inulinases and fructooligosaccharides. The review focuses on the recent developments in the production of fructooligosaccharides from inulin by endoinulinases, their prebiotic potential, functionalities and applications in food industry, and future perspectives.


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