In vitro fermentation of chitosan derivatives by mixed cultures of human faecal bacteria
Vernazza, C.L., Gibson, G.R. and Rastall, R.A. (2005) In vitro fermentation of chitosan derivatives by mixed cultures of human faecal bacteria. Carbohydrate Polymers, 60 (4). pp. 539-545. ISSN 0144-8617
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2005.03.008
Stirred, pH controlled batch cultures were carried out with faecal inocula and various chitosans to investigate the fermentation of chitosan derivatives by the human gut flora. Changes in bacterial levels and short chain fatty acids were measured over time. Low, medium and high molecular weight chitosan caused a decrease in bacteroides, bifidobacteria, clostridia and lactobacilli. A similar pattern was seen with chitosan oligosaccharide (COS). Butyrate levels also decreased. A three-stage fermentation model of the human colon was used for investigation of the metabolism of COS. In a region representing the proximal colon, clostridia decreased while lactobacilli increased. In the region representing the transverse colon, bacteroides and clostridia increased. Distally a small increase in bacteroides occurred. Butyrate levels increased. Under the highly competitive conditions of the human colon, many members of the microflora, are unable to compete for chitosans of low, medium or high molecular weight. COS were more easily utilised and when added to an in vitro colonic model led to increased production of butyrate, but some populations of potentially detrimental bacteria also increased. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.