The fermentation of dietary fiber in the large intestine and the by-products of this fermentation are thought to protect against colonic diseases. As it is difficult to measure the fermentation of dietary fiber in an intact animal, in vitro techniques have been developed to compare the fermentability of various dietary fibers. The objective of this project was to compare short chain fatty acid (SCFA) production with different fibers in an in vitro fermentation model. A wide range of commercially available dietary fiber sources was compared for SCFA production. Fibers were fermented with a fecal innoculum for 0, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 hours. SCFAs were measured by gas chromatography. SCFA production varied among the fiber sources. Hydrolyzed guar gum and galactomannan produced the greatest amounts of total SCFAs. Butyrate production was higher with the fiber sources than the glucose control. Acetate production was less for psyllium than the other fibers. Thus, different dietary fiber sources are more readily fermented by fecal microflora. These differences most likely affect the physiological differences seen among dietary fiber sources.
- Dietary fiber
- Short chain fatty acids