Knowledge Based Bio-Economy


Dietary Fibres supporting Gut and Immune Function - From polysaccharide compound to health claim (Nutrition)

Project acronym: FibeBiotics

Title of project: Dietary Fibres supporting Gut and Immune Function - From polysaccharide compound to health claim

Research area: Nutrition

Contract No: 289517

EU contribution: € 5 974 556

Start date: January 2012

Duration: 54 months

Status: on-going

The goal of the FibeBiotics project is to support the development of functional food ingredients and products that are beneficial for the human gut and immune system and therefore of crucial importance for quality of life. The project is studying the effects of specific non-digestible polysaccharides (NPS), which have shown potentially beneficial health effects for the gut and immune system.

Investigations into the health effects of NPS are focused on enhancing immune system defences against pathogens and the reduction of infectious diseases, such as the common cold and influenza, among the elderly. The research is using EFSA-supported biomarkers that enable immune function claims and underpin the mechanism involved. The partners are developing a toolbox of dedicated assays and models that can be used by industry and public authorities to study and approve food ingredients with a similar health focus.

Key elements of FibeBiotic research include:

  • Performing biochemical analysis to study compounds, the effect of processing, and structure-function relations.
  • Developing standardised in vitro screening methods for the classification of polysaccharides and supporting product design.
  • Using dedicated in vivo and ex vivo analyses to study mechanisms of action and to validate biomarkers.
  • Using and validating this knowledge in an intervention study based on elderly subjects.

SME partners are making a very large contribution to the project, both as beneficiaries from the research products and as technology service providers in health research. In addition, the wider food industry can directly benefit from this project via its online Industrial Platform. The FibeBiotics project intends to provide the scientific basis for international nutritional organisations to recommend an immune-related functional health claim for some of the NPS studied.

Website of project:

Coordinator: Jurriaan Mes,

Organisation: Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek DLO, the Netherlands,