Short-chain fructooligosaccharides (FOS) stimulate selectively the growth and activity of microorganisms in the colon providing positive health effects and well-being in humans and animals. The lack of accurate isolation methods, however, hampers the possibility of getting new potential fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)-fermenting yeast or bacterial strains. A valuable screening procedure to visually detect bacterial and yeast strains able to ferment FOS in liquid or solid rich media supplemented with an innocuous pH indicator is described. Using this assay, 15 FOS-consuming strains isolated from different sources were successfully evaluated to prove the utility of the method. This screening procedure is a new and valuable tool in rapid large-scale detection of potential FOS fermenting-strains useful in food and health science.
Key words: FOS-fermenting microorganisms, prebiotics, probiotics, symbiotics.
FOS, Short-chain fructooligosaccharides; TLC, thin layer chromatography; HPLC, high pressure liquid chromatography; YNB, yeast nitrogen base.
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