FibeBiotics - Dietary Fibers supporting Gut and Immune Function; From polysaccharide compound to health claim

FibeBiotics studies the bioactive (health) function of polysaccharides and generates knowledge that support health claims.



The project goal is to support the development of functional food ingredients and products that are beneficial for the human gut & immune system and therefore of crucial importance for quality of life. The project will study the effects of specific non-digestible polysaccharides which have shown health potential in this field. The health effects of NPS will be focused around enhancing immune defence against pathogens, the reduction of infectious diseases like common cold and influenza of elderly and will make use of EFSA supported biomarkers that enable immune function claims and underpin the mechanism involved. The studied mechanisms are the innate and adaptive immune system and the possible involvement of the micro-biota and micro-biota mediated products. To achieve this goal new and existing NPS will be studied for their health effects in a systematic way by developing a toolbox of dedicated assays and models that can be used by industry and authorities to study and approve food ingredients with a similar health focus.


  • Polysacharides support the gut and immune function
  • Innate and adaptive immunity
  • Different polysaccharides and formulations can have different bioactivity effects
  • Tools & models can help to design functional foods with maintained and standardized proven health effects

Main objectives

  • Perform biochemical analysis to study compounds, effect of processing, and structure-function relations.
  • Develop standardized in vitro screening methods for classification of polysaccharides and support product design.
  • Use dedicated in vivo and ex vivo analyses to study mechanisms of action and to validate biomarkers.
  • Use and validate this knowledge in an intervention study based on elderly subjects.

By combining the knowledge that will be gained from molecular, cellular and whole-organism studies, the goal will be to understand the bioactive mechanisms of these NPS and use this knowledge to design functional food products. SMEs make a very large contribution to the project, both as beneficiary of the products and as a technology service provider related to health research. This proposed project should provide the scientific basis for international nutritional organisations to recommend an immune-related functional health claim for some of the NPS studied.

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