Determination of the prebiotic activity of wheat arabinogalactan peptide (AGP) using batch culture fermentation.


Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 226, Reading, RG6 6AP, UK. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To test the prebiotic activity of wheat arabinogalactan-peptide (AGP), which is a soluble dietary fibre composed of arabinogalactan polysaccharide linked to a 15-residue peptide, which accounts for up to 0.4% of the dry weight of wheat flour.
METHODS : The prebiotic activity of AGP prepared from white wheat flour was tested using in vitro fermentation by colonic bacteria in automated pH-controlled anaerobic stirred batch cultures and compared to fructooligosaccharide (FOS) and wheat flour arabinoxylan (AX). Bacterial populations were measured using fluorescence in situ hybridisation (flow-FISH) and short chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations were measured using HPLC.
RESULTS : Fermentation of AGP resulted in a significant bifidogenic activity and increased concentrations of SCFAs, mainly acetate after 24 h of fermentation.
CONCLUSIONS : These results were comparable to those obtained with AX and confirm the prebiotic potential of AGP. Furthermore, fermentation of a mixture of AGP and AX was faster compared to the single substrates and more similar to FOS, indicating that combinations of fermentable carbohydrates with different structures are potentially more effective as prebiotics than single substrates.


Arabinogalactan-peptide (AGP),Batch culture,Fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH),Prebiotic,Short chain fatty acids (SCFA),

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