Isolation and prebiotic activity of inulin-type fructan extracted from Pfaffia glomerata (Spreng) Pedersen roots

Edilainy Rizzieri Caleffi, Gabriela Krausová, Ivana Hyršlová, Larry Ladislao Ramos Paredes, Marcelo Müller dos Santos, Guilherme Lanzi Sassaki, Regina Aparecida Correia Gonçalves, Arildo José Braz de Oliveira

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41 Scopus citations


Pfaffia glomerata (Amaranthaceae) is popularly known as "Brazilian ginseng." Previous studies have shown that fructose is the major carbohydrate component present in its roots. Inulin-type fructans, polymers of fructose, are the most widespread and researched prebiotics. Here, we isolated and chemically characterized inulin extracted from P. glomerata roots and investigated its potential prebiotic effect. Fructans were isolated and their structures were determined using colorimetric, chromatography, polarimetry, and spectroscopic analysis. The degree of polymerization (DP) was determined, and an in vitro prebiotic test was performed. The structure of inulin was confirmed by chromatography and spectroscopic analysis and through comparison with existing data. Representatives from the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium utilized inulin from P. glomerata, because growth was significantly stimulated, while this ability is strain specific. The results indicated that inulin extracted from P. glomerata roots represents a promising new source of inulin-type prebiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-399
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the Association of Brazilian Ginseng Small Farmers (ASPAG) for provided the plant material for the study and Brazilian agencies: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, processo no. 306145/2012-0 ) and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic ( COST LD 14123 ) for their financial support, as well as the and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) and Fundação Araucária by supported the project with Scholarship for Master's students.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Amaranthaceae
  • Inulin
  • Pfaffia glomerata
  • Prebiotic


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