A prebiotic is a selectively fermented ingredient that results in specific changes in the composition and/or activity of the gastrointestinal microbiota, thus conferring benefit(s) upon host health. The most widely accepted prebiotics are lactulose, inulin, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), galactooligosaccharides (GOS), and the human milk oligosaccharides (HMO). However, there is a growing list of potential prebiotics although the evidence for these, especially in humans, is not as well established as for FOS and GOS. Some of them are already commercialized but others such as polydextrose (PDX), pectic oligosaccharides (POS), bacterial exopolysaccharides (EPS), polysaccharides derived from algae and sugar alcohols are still in the early stages of development. This chapter summarizes the scientific literature regarding the manufacture and the evaluation of the properties of this group “emerging prebiotics”.
Part of the book: Probiotics and Prebiotics in Human Nutrition and Health