Gut bacteria ferment fiber at different rates to primarily short chain fatty acids (SCFA) and gas while proteins are metabolized to SCFA, branched chain fatty acids (BCFA), gas, and undesirable metabolites. Large volumes of gas produced in vivo may contribute to bloating and flatulence in an individual. The objectives of this trial were to (1) compare the in vitro fermentation profiles of fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), inulin, gum acacia, and pea fiber alone or blended using a 24 h batch model and (2) relate these findings to a human study that fed enteral formula fortified with fiber blend (FB) or no fiber (FF). The in vitro fermentation of the fiber blend resulted in a delayed pH decrease and gas and SCFA production compared to the FOS and inulin. Human samples had higher SCFA on FB compared to FF (p = 0.029). BCFA were not different between formulas. By using a blend of fibers, we observed a slower fermentation in vitro but still increased fecal SCFA when fed to human subjects.
- short chain fatty acids