Inulin and oligofructose are naturally occurring resistant carbohydrates that have a variety of uses as functional food ingredients. In addition to their role as prebiotics that selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines, these inulin-type fructans act as dietary fiber in the digestive system and have applications as a sugar substitute and fat replacer. Written by one of the leading researchers in the field, Inulin-Type Fructans: Functional Food Ingredients describes inulin-type fructans and explains how they can be analyzed, quantified, and used in a wide variety of food products. The text evaluates the nutritional properties of inulin-type fructans, focusing on their behavior in the upper gastrointestinal tract that have led to their classification as dietary fiber and low calorie carbohydrates. Following a review of the selective and beneficial modification of the intestinal microflora that led to the discovery of prebiotics, the book concentrates on the relationship of inulin and oligofructose to lipid metabolism, carcinogenesis, mineral absorption, and the immune system. The text concludes with a general discussion of the classification of inulin-type fructans as functional food ingredients. Each chapter begins with background information on the physiology and biochemistry of the particular function covered as well as on the methodology used to assess these functions, and concludes with a summary of the results and perspectives on future development. The combination of authoritative research data and insightful perspectives provides a comprehensive overview of this growing field.

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