• Rosma Ahmad University Sains Malaysia


Abstract. Oligosaccharides are a group of sugar polymers with degree of polymerisation of 2 to 10 monosaccharides linked by glycosidic bonds. Oligosaccharides are grouped according to their monomer components and linkages; fructooligosaccharides, maltooligosaccharides, xylooligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharides and etc. Plant oligosaccharides are found naturally in some fruits and vegetables but certain oligosaccharides such as xylooligosaccharides can be industrially manufactured from agricultural byproducts. Oligosaccharides that cannot be digested by human digestive system but selectively fermented in the colon had been proven to be a prebiotic ingredient. The addition of prebiotic oligosaccharides to food enhances functional properties beneficial for the body including bowel function, calcium absorption and lipid metabolism, prevention of dental caries, protection against cardiovascular disease and decrease in the risk of colon cancer due to the formation of short-chain fatty acids. The global xylooligosaccharides market is valued at 88.09 million USD in 2016 and is expected to reach 119.62 million USD by the end of 2022. Due to global demand of xylooligosaccharides and availability of agricultural byproducts from oil palm plantation and palm oil industry, Malaysia and Indonesia should play important role as manufacturers of xylooligosaccharides.


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