Prebiotics in foods
A wealth of information has been gathered over the past 15 years on prebiotics through experimental, animal and human studies, with the aim to understand the mechanism of actions and elucidate their beneficial health effects to the human host. Significant amount of evidence exists for their ability to increase the bioavailability of minerals and stimulate the immune system, although there is less clear evidence so far for their prophylactic or therapeutic role in gastrointestinal infections. Moreover, the effect of the food delivery vehicle on the efficacy of prebiotics is an area that has been hardly investigated. Besides their beneficial effects, prebiotics influence the textural and organoleptic properties of the food products, such as dairy and baked products. To do this however, they need to be stable during food processing, in particular under conditions of high temperature and low pH.
Graphical abstractFigure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload high-quality image (276 K)Download as PowerPoint slideHighlights► Prebiotics can modulate the gastrointestinal microbiota. ► Prebiotics have been associated with protection against gastrointestinal infections. ► Prebiotics are stable in conditions of low pH and high temperature. ► Prebiotics can affect the textural and organoleptic properties of foods.
Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnology - Volume 23, Issue 2, April 2012, Pages 187–191