In vitro evaluation of the fermentation properties and potential prebiotic activity of Agave fructans

E Gomez, K M Tuohy, G R Gibson, A Klinder, A Costabile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


AIMS: This study was carried out to evaluate in vitro the fermentation properties and the potential prebiotic activity of Agave-fructans extracted from Agave tequilana (Predilife).

METHODS AND RESULTS: Five different commercial prebiotics were compared using 24-h pH-controlled anaerobic batch cultures inoculated with human faecal slurries. Measurement of prebiotic efficacy was obtained by comparing bacterial changes, and the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) was also determined. Effects upon major groups of the microbiota were monitored over 24 h incubations by fluorescence in situ hybridization. SCFA were measured by HPLC. Fermentation of the Agave fructans (Predilife) resulted in a large increase in numbers of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.

CONCLUSIONS: Under the in vitro conditions used, this study has shown the differential impact of Predilife on the microbial ecology of the human gut.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: This is the first study reporting of a potential prebiotic mode of activity for Agave fructans investigated which significantly increased populations of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli compared to cellulose used as a control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2114-21
Number of pages8
JournalLett Appl Microbiol
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Adult
  • Agave
  • Bifidobacterium
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Feces
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Lactobacillaceae
  • Male
  • Prebiotics

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