FOS vs Inulin: Which Prebiotic Fiber works best for your applications

FOS vs Inulin: Which Prebiotic Fiber works best for your applications

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and Inulin are dietary fibers known for their prebiotic properties and health benefits.

Both can be derived from Either Chicory Root or Sucrose using Enzymatic Hydrolysis, or enzymatic transfructosylation and are naturally occuring Carbohydrate polymers made of Fructose units.

FOS is a short-chain, unbranched polymer made of 6-14 fructose units, while Inulin is a long-chain branched polymer made of 22-30 and more fructose units.

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. They are found naturally in many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and are available as dietary supplements, commercially. Prebiotics consumption can support digestion, enhance immune function, and improve overall health by maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

FOS & Inulin are found naturally in the same sources, since they are both synthesised naturally by the same pathway in plants. Some common sources of both FOS & Inulin are:

Sources of FOS Inulin

Due to differences in polymer length and cross linkage, Inulin and FOS, while similar in nature, also show some differences in properties, as noted below:

  • Sweetness:
    • FOS : 30-50% as sweet as sugar
    • Inulin: 10% as sweet as sugar
  • Solubility:
    • FOS has high solubility in water
    • Soluble in water, but less so than FOS.
  • Health Benefits:
    • Both exhibit Prebiotic effects & aid mineral absorption.
  • Digestibility:
    • FOS: Partially digested in the upper gastrointestinal tract.
    • Inulin: Not digested & reaches the colon largely intact, where it is fermented by gut bacteria.
  • Usage:
    • FOS: Used in low-sugar or sugar-free foods as a sweetener and prebiotic fiber.
    • Inulin: Used to improve texture, enhance mouthfeel, and increase fiber content.
  • Prebiotic fibre in Food, beverage, & neutraceutical products.
  • Low intensity alternative sweetener in Food & Beverage industry.
  • As bulking agent in certain premixes & formulations.
  • As a probiotic growth medium.
  • Used as Prebiotic fibre in Food, beverage, and neutraceutical products.
  • Used as Texture and Mouthfeel Enhancer in Dairy & Beverages.
  • Used as fat & sugar replacer is the food and beverage industry.
  • Used in dietary supplements for its prebiotic benefits and potential to improve mineral absorption.
  • Used as an Exepient in Pharmaceutical industry, specially controlled release formulations.


  • Offers a creamy texture and mild sweetness.
  • Improves food texture, fiber content, and gut health.
  • Ideal for dairy, bakery, and beverage products.

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS):

  • Provide sweetness, low calories, and improved mineral absorption.
  • Act as prebiotics, nourishing beneficial gut bacteria.
  • Commonly used as sugar substitutes and for health benefits.


  • Choose inulin for texture enhancement and gut health.
  • Select FOS for sweetening and low-calorie needs.
  • Both fibers offer unique benefits based on specific product requirements.

Visit us here to explore our range of FOS, Inulin and other fiber products

FOS & Inulin

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