Prebiotics from Chicory
Inulin and oligofructose, chicory-derived prebiotics
Inulin and oligofructose are natural polymers obtained from fructose which occur as a reserve carbohydrate in various plants. The chicory root in particular is prized for its high levels of inulin. It can be isolated from the root by hot water extraction.
Its non-digestibility is the basis for the exceptional functional and physiological qualities of inulin. Oligofructose (synonym: FOS or Fructo-Oligo-Saccharides) is derived from inulin but differs in the degree of polymerisation: fructose-chains are shorter and more rapidly broken down by intestinal bacteria. However, the two products differ as regards taste and solubility.
The prebiotic effect
Inulin and oligofructose are not digested by the body enzymes, but are broken down by only a limited number of bacteria. This leads to a modulation of the intestinal flora towards healthier composition and activity. This results in reduced intestinal pH, enhanced production of short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate and improved nitrogen metabolism.
Optimum growth and performance, improved resistance to disease, less toxic and malodorous waste material, these are just some of the benefits associated with the inclusion of prebiotics in the animal’s diet.
Dietary fiber for intestinal health
Being dietary fibers, both inulin and oligofructose positively affect the frequency, consistency and quality of the stool. These prebiotics decrease intestinal transit time and add bulk to the faeces. They support a regular defecation pattern with easily passing stool, which is important for the animal’s comfort.