Non-digestible oligosaccharides for application in infant formula: studying fermentation and immune effects

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

554 Downloads (Pure)


Mother milk is the best nutrition for newborn infants. It contains a wide range of nutrients and is an energy source for the gut microbiota. Mother milk plays an important role in the maturation of the gut-barrier and also supports the developing immune system in infants directly. The human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) which are present in mother milk greatly contribute to these processes. For infants where mother-milk is not a feasible option, cow-milk derived formulas supplemented with non-digestible carbohydrates (NDCs) are used. The NDCs are added to mimic the HMO functions. There are already various NDCs available for the application in infant formulas, however, there are many other new NDCs available which might be interesting to apply in these formulas. In addition, there is not much known about how the fermentation of the NDCs by the gut-microbiota affect the immune regulating properties of different NDCs. Therefor, in our study, we selected various NDCs from different sources and fermented them using infant fecal inoculum to examine the fermentation kinetics, the microbiota changes, the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and the effect of the digesta on immature immune responses. In addition, we also studied the effect of the infant’s age on these processes and if these processes are similar for infants with different immune backgrounds.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • de Vos, Paul, Supervisor
  • Faas, Marijke, Co-supervisor
Award date20-Dec-2021
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Cite this