In vitro evaluation of the fermentation properties and potential prebiotic activity of caprine cheese whey oligosaccharides in batch culture systems

Diana L Oliveira, Adele Costabile, R Andrew Wilbey, Alistair S Grandison, Luis C Duarte, Luisa B Roseiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The prebiotic effect of oligosaccharides recovered and purified from caprine whey, was evaluated by in vitro fermentation under anaerobic conditions using batch cultures at 37°C with human faeces. Effects on key gut bacterial groups were monitored over 24 h by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), which was used to determine a quantitative prebiotic index score. Production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as fermentation end products was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Growth of Bifidobacterium spp was significantly higher (P ≥ 0.05) with the purified oligosaccharides compared to the negative control. Lactic and propionic acids were the main SCFAs produced. Antimicrobial activity of the oligosaccharides was also tested, revealing no inhibition though a decrease in Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli growth. These findings indicate that naturally extracted oligosaccharides from caprine whey could be used as new and valuable source of prebiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-9
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2012


  • Animals
  • Batch Cell Culture Techniques
  • Bifidobacterium
  • Cheese
  • Dairy Products
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Fermentation
  • Gastrointestinal Tract
  • Goats
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Prebiotics

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