Osama O Ibrahim
Functional oligosaccharides are non-digestible by human gut enzymes and providing health benefits as fibers and prebiotics.Functional oligosaccharides have mildly sweet taste and other characteristics such as, mouth feeling. This mouth feeling characteristic interest food industry to incorporate these functional oligosaccharides in foods as a partial substitute for fat and sugars and to improve food texture. With the exception, of malto-oligosaccharides and trehalose, functional oligosaccharides are non-digestible in small intestine digestive enzymes and reached large intestine (colon) where it acts as a growth factor (prebiotics) to enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) and inhibit pathogenic bacteria in the colon via competitive exclusion. These benefits to colon and for other health benefits, plus unique characteristics have increased the global market of functional oligosaccharides applications in foods, pharmaceuticals and in other industrial sectors. Due to the increase demand of functional oligosaccharides for their health benefits and characteristics, functional oligosaccharides are currently produced enzymatically at higher yield and lower cost from different natural sources of carbohydrates as a replacement of costly plants extraction methods.