Author(s): Coussement PA
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Abstract Inulin and oligofructose are a significant part of the daily diet of most of the world's population. Daily intakes for the U.S. and Europe have been estimated at up to 10 g, specifically 1-4 g for the 97th percentile in the U.S. Because both inulin and oligofructose are macroingredients, it is difficult to apply classical toxicology tests. Although some high dose animal tests have been performed, none have revealed any toxic effects. The safety of inulin and oligofructose for use in foods was evaluated by many legal authorities worldwide. As a result, both inulin and oligofructose are accepted in most countries as food ingredients that can be used without restrictions in food formulations. In the U.S., a panel of experts performed a generally accepted as safe (GRAS) Self-Affirmation Evaluation in 1992 and concluded similarly. At high doses, increased flatulence and osmotic pressure can cause intestinal discomfort. These doses vary widely from person to person and also depend on the type of food in which inulin or oligofructose is incorporated. With regard to labeling, both inulin and oligofructose are gradually being accepted as "dietary fibers" in most countries around the world. The mention of their "bifidogenic effect" on food labels has also been legally accepted in several countries.
This article was published in J Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals