Xylo-oligosaccharides from sugarcane show prebiotic potential in a dynamic computer-controlled in vitro model of the adult human large intestine

K. Venema*, J. Verhoeven, S. Verbruggen, D. Keller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aim of the study was to investigate the prebiotic potential of xylo-oligosaccharides (XOS) from sugarcane in a validated, dynamic, computer-controlled in vitro model of the colon (TIM-2) simulating human adults. In two sets of experiments, each with a different microbiota, 3 different doses of XOS were tested at 1.0 g/day, 1.5 g/day and 3.0 g/day. The in vitro model was run for 72 h, and at the start and subsequently every 24 h samples were taken and analysed for short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and gut microbiota composition. SCFA were analysed using ion chromatography, whereas microbiota composition was analysed using sequencing of the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. XOS showed a similar SCFA production per gram of substrate as the control medium, including butyrate, which is considered to be important for gut health. In both sets of experiments XOS showed a consistent dose-dependent increase in abundance over time of the genus Bifidobacterium, and within that of the species B. adolescentis and an unidentified species (labelled 'sp.1'). The results show the potential prebiotic effect of XOS from sugarcane, by its capacity to generate butyrate and increase the health-beneficial bifidobacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-200
Number of pages10
JournalBeneficial Microbes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Bifidobacterium
  • TIM-2
  • in vitro model
  • prebiotic
  • xylo-oligosaccharides

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