Non-digestible oligosaccharides

Ralf Hartemink Ralf.Hartemink at
Mon Aug 11 18:14:28 EST 1997


The gratuate schools VLAG and WIAS will organize a symposium on
Non-Digestible Oligosaccharides on December, 4-5 1997 in Wageningen.

Non-Digestible Oligosaccharides (NDO's) are a a class of
carbohydrates that are not absorbed or digested in the small intestine
of man and animals. These oligosaccharides have a degree of
polymerisation of 2-10. NDO's reach the colon unaltered. In the colon
NDO's are readily fermented by the intestinal microflora. This may
result in changes in this flora, thereby increasing the number of
(potential) beneficial microorganisms, while repressing the number of
(potential) harmful bacteria. This possible change in the intestinal
flora may be beneficial to the health of man and animal.

NDO's are occurring in nature in most edible plants, as well as in
(mother's) milk and honey. Several classes of  NDO's exist, f.e.
fructooligosaccharides as well as oligosaccharides derived from plant
cell walls. Oligosaccharides can also be produced commercially and are
used as functional foods, or prebiotics. These oligosaccharides are
available and can be used in feeding trials in humans and animals.
This symposium deals with different aspects of NDO's, like chemical
structure analysis, degradation and fermentation by intestinal
microorganisms, regulation of enzymes involved, effects on the
microflora in vivo and in vitro, effects on several aspets of human
health, effects in growing piglets and other animals, differences
between NDO's and fibres and probiotics as well as future prospects of

The symposium marks the end of a four-year research programme carried
out at the Wageningen Agricultural University. In this programme four
departments (Food Chemistry, Food Microbiology, Human Nutrition and
Animal Nutrition) worked closely together. 

For more information contact see
Ralf Hartemink :  ralf.hartemink at

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