Inulin is a mixture of poly- and oligosaccharides. These fructo-oligosaccharides are present in a natural way in numerous plants.
Cosucra Groupe Warcoing S.A. extracts inulin from chicory roots by diffusion.
This fibre is composed of molecules with a length of about 7 units fructose and ending on a glucose unit.
Inulin is a prebiotic
Monogastrics can metabolise this carbohydrate in the large intestine, but not in the stomach. Inulin is exclusively fermented by the acidophilic flora. The products of this fermentation are the bacterial mass and the free fatty acids which are absorbed by the animal. The stimulation of the immune system is influenced by the development of the beneficial bacteria to become the predominant genus in faeces, and competitive exclusion reduces the pathogenic bacteria.
The effects on the intestinal flora are the following:
- regulation of the volume of the faecal mass and of the intestinal transit;
- acidification of the intestinal content and development of free fatty acids;
- a higher absorption of minerals (Ca, Mg, etc.);
- a higher faecal nitrogen excretion: lowering the ammoniac concentration;
- stimulation of the animal’s health: guarantee of a better immunity.
Inulin is used from 0,1% to 1% in feed for monogastrics.