Inulin and Oligofructosis: a review about functional properties, prebiotic effects and importance for food industry

Maria Celia de Oliveira Hauly, Janaína Andréa Moscatto

Abstract


Nowadays consumers are more conscious about the relation between food and health. Therefore food industry has been looking for food that has a lot of benefits besides good flavor and appearance. Inulin and oligofructose are fructose polimers, vastly found in plants as storage carbohydrates. They present important functional for the food industry. Both inulin and oligofructose have been used as fiber bulk in food products. Differently from other fibers, they do not add flavor, allowing the food to be improved without changing its viscosity. Inulin and oligofructose have similar nutritional properties. Inulin is more indicated for obtaining products with a low fat content such as ice cream, cake and soup, while oligofructose is indicated for yogurt with a low caloric value and in order to mask the residual flavor from high intensity sweeteners used in food preparation. Research has shown that inulin and oligofructose have prebiotic effects because they are not digestible and they can develop bifidogenic effects, improving the intestinal microflora. The simultaneous use of inulin and oligofructose with probiotic agents in food is recommended for symbiotic effects.


Keywords


Inulin; Oligofructose; Fiber; Fat replacement; Prebiotic effects and symbiotic effects.



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0375.2002v23n1p99

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