A Spanish public research organisation has developed a type of prebiotic oligosaccharides derived from lactulose which are obtained with a novel synthesis method. The new prebiotic carbohydrates show enhanced bioactive properties compared with other existing oligosaccharide. They also exhibit multifunctional nature since they are able to modulate the immune response. Food and pharmaceutical companies are sought for manufacturing the new oligosaccharide under a patent license.
A novel synthesis method
The new prebiotic oligosaccharides are synthesized by a direct reaction of trans- galactosylation of lactulose catalyzed by a β-galactosidase. As a result they can be denominated galacto-oligosaccharide derived from lactulose (GOS-Lactulose). The enzyme used is obtained from Aspergillus oryzae and determines a characteristic composition of oligosaccharides.
These galacto-oligosaccharides can be obtained with an alternative synthesis method which is the trans-galactosylation of lactose using the same enzyme and the subsequent chemical isomerization of the galacto-oligosaccharides with sodium aluminante.
Both products of synthesis are purified with activated charcoal to remove digestible carbohydrates (monosaccharides and disaccharides), enriching the mixture in oligosaccharides with polymerisation grade higher than 2. The resultant composition is a mixture of di- and trisaccharides with a lower proportion of tetra- and pentasaccharides.
In vitro (Caco-2 cell cultures) and in vivo (Wistar rats) studies have demonstrated that GOS-lactulose possess a bifidogenic activity higher than conventional prebiotics as well as additional positive effects on immune function. They increase the expression of anti-inflammatory molecules (IL-6, IL-10) and reduce the production of pro-inflammatory molecules (TNF-α, IL-1β) by intestinal cells. Consequently they can be hailed as second generation prebiotics being an interesting alternative for their use in products such as infant foods, functional ingredients, dietary supplements and veterinary products. GOS-Lactulose can also have applications in the pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical sectors.
Prebiotics show positive effect in the gastrointestinal health.
Main applications and advantages
- Improved gastrointestinal digestion resistance (0 % ileal digestion)
- Prebiotic activity in the large intestine
- Prebiotic effects achieved at low doses (1 % p/p) with an intake period of 14 days
- Enhanced prebiotic activity without side effects
- Selective increase in the concentration and biodiversity of bifidobacteria, higher than obtained with commercial prebiotics
- Inhibitory effect on intestinal colonization by pathogenic bacteria
- Immunomodulatory activity
For further information please contact
Dr. F. Javier Moreno Andújar