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Fructooligosaccharides: applications and health benefits
A review


*Corresponding author
Institute of Chemical Technology, Food Engineering and Technology Department
NM Parikh Marg, Matunga, Mumbai, 400019, India


Fructooligosaccharides (FOSs) are non-digestible carbohydrates with functional and physiological attributes like low sweetness, non-carcinogenicity, low caloric value, prebiotic, hypolipidemic and hypocholestrolemic properties. Although fructooligosaccharides are present in trace amounts in natural foods like onions, asparagus, wheat, banana, tomato and honey, commercial production is accomplished, using microbial transferase such as fructosyl transferase or β-fructofuranosidase. The industrial production of fructooligosaccharides (FOS) is expanding rapidly due to the food and pharmaceutical importance of these compounds. Due to its health benefits and functional properties, FOS will continue to exist in market as functional food ingredient for Product formulations.


FOS- Fructooligosaccharides, DP- Degree of polymerization, DPav- Average Degree of polymerization, SCFOS- Short Chain Fructooligosaccharides FTase- Fructosyl Transferase, FFase- β-fructofuranosidase,  SmF- Submerged Fermentation, SSF- Solid State Fermentation, SCFA- Short Chain fatty Acids

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are composed of a mixture of Kestose (GF2), Nystose (GF3) and Fructosyl nystose (GF4), obtained from sucrose by enzymatic addition of fructosyl moieties, and having an average degree of polymerization (DPav) of 3.6, and are named as short-chain fructooligosaccharides. They are different from natural fructans having degree of polymerization (DP) (only 10 % of native chicory Inulins have a DP between 2 and 5) (1), and from oligofructoses formed by inulin hydrolysis (DP from 2 to 7, DPav 4) by the systematic presence of a glucose moiety (2).
FOS is found in trace amounts as natural components in fruits, vegetables, and honey. FOS is present in more than 36,000 plant sources as reserve carbohydrates (3). It is present in various plant sources such as ...