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Establishing the prebiotic potential of whole kiwifruit

JULIET ANSELL1*, LYNLEY N. DRUMMOND2
*Corresponding author
1. The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited (PFR) Private Bag 11600, Palmerston North, 4442, New Zealand
2. ZESPRI International Limited, P.O. Box 4043, 400 Mt Maunganui Rd, New Zealand

Abstract

This research aims to examine the changes in the composition and activity of gastrointestinal microflora broughtabout by the digestion of kiwifruit. Through understanding the changes to kiwifruit throughout the digestive process, asmeasured by carbohydrate chemical analysis, and changes in the gastrointestinal microflora this work has determinedpotential mechanisms of action further downstream on gut barrier and mucosal immunology. We have establisheddigested and fermented whole kiwifruit generated changes in gut micro-morphology and functionality via enhancing thegrowth and /or metabolism of commensal/beneficial bacteria. These bacterial-dependent components – independently/concomitantly with digestible kiwifruit components (specifically carbohydrates) are proposed to enhance innate immunityat the mucosal gut surface. We put forwards the hypothesis that the role of kiwifruit may be as “priming” rather than“activating” the immune response so that it promotes immune tolerance (or good immunity) rather than inflammation (badimmunity) through a gut mediated prebiotic mechanism.


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