Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Plant-based fructans for increased animal welfare : provision processes and remaining challenges

Fructans are carbohydrates consisting of fructose monomers linked by β-2,1- and/or β-2,6-glycosidic bonds with linear or
branched structure. These carbohydrates belong to the group of prebiotic dietary fibre with health-promoting potential for
humans and mammals due to their indigestibility and selective stimulation of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract. This
makes fructans interesting mainly for healthy food as well as animal feed applications. As a consequence of a growing public
awareness for animal welfare, dietary fibre and thus fructans move into the focus as a fibre-rich feeding improving not only
animals’ health but also their well-being. Against this background, this paper summarises the known effects of fructans focusing
on pigs and highlights the state of the art in fructan production processes from plant material as well as selected current research
lines. Additionally, an attempt is made to assess the potential of European fructan production for an application as animal feed.
Based on this, challenges in the field of fructan production are addressed and alternative substrates for fructans are discussed and
pointed out.


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