• oligosaccharide;
  • caprine whey;
  • prebiotic;
  • antimicrobial activity;
  • prebiotic index


The prebiotic effect of oligosaccharides recovered and purified from caprine whey, was evaluated by in vitro fermentation under anaerobic conditions using batch cultures at 37°C with human faeces. Effects on key gut bacterial groups were monitored over 24 h by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), which was used to determine a quantitative prebiotic index score. Production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as fermentation end products was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Growth of Bifidobacterium spp was significantly higher (P ≥ 0.05) with the purified oligosaccharides compared to the negative control. Lactic and propionic acids were the main SCFAs produced. Antimicrobial activity of the oligosaccharides was also tested, revealing no inhibition though a decrease in Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli growth. These findings indicate that naturally extracted oligosaccharides from caprine whey could be used as new and valuable source of prebiotics. © 2012 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.