Impact of gums on the growth of probiotics
Gums are polysaccharides used as stabilizers in food that could also enhance growth and viability of probiotics. Thus, the aim of this review was to provide general information about common gums used in different food applications and to introduce a new application of gums as possible functional ingredients to promote the viability of probiotics in food products.
Gums are complex polysaccharides extracted from sources such as endosperm of plant seeds, plant exudates, sea weeds, bacteria, and animal sources (1, 2). Gums are polymers with hydrophilic ability due to the presence of a hydroxyl bond. The composition and structure of gums enable gums to imbibe large amount of water forming a gel, which makes gums useful in the food industry. Gums are used as stabilizers improving viscosity and texture by preventing “wheying off” (3). Gums have also found usefulness in other industries, namely pharmaceutical, cosmetic, paint, ink, paper, color, and adhesive industries (4).
A number of polysaccharides are used as prebiotics to promote growth and viability of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in dairy products (5) already exist with inulin and fructooligosaccharide (FOS) being the most recognized (6-9). A prebiotic is defined as a “non-digestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, and thus improves host health” (6). These health benefits include reinforcement of gut mucosal immun ...