We show the beneficial impact of chicory extract on the growth of Lactobacillus acidophilus

We show beneficial impact of chicory extract on the growth of Lactobacillus acidophilus

When chicory extract is added to a culture of Lactobacillus acidophilus, bacterial growth and metabolic activity are enhanced

Chicory root extract is rich in inulin. Inulin is a dietary fiber that naturally exists in many plants, has a high content of fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and acts as a natural prebiotic.

Many studies show that prebiotics can significantly modulate the digestive microbiota by increasing the number of beneficial species such as Lactobacillus sp. and Bifidobacteria. Prebiotics can also reduce undesired intestinal colonization by pathogenic bacteria acting as “decoy receptors”: prebiotics mimic the attachment sites used by pathogenic microorganisms to adhere on the intestinal mucosa, preventing the pathogens from colonizing the intestinal walls.

Complex dietary prebiotics, such as the fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) contained in chicory root extract, can reduce accessibility of Salmonella sp. to digestive colonization in poultry as well as are able to increase the concentration of Bifidobacterium sp. in chicken cecum.

Additional beneficial effects of prebiotics include enhancement of mineral absorption, reduction of lipid levels in serum and reduction of the production of putrefactive substances.

Recently, we made an experimental test in our lab to prove the beneficial impact of chicory extract on the growth of Lactobacillus acidophilus.

Experimental place and time

Made in PlusVet Animal Health  laboratory, July 2017.


Verify the effect of chicory extract on the growth of Lactobacillus acidophilus.

Hypothesis to prove

Lactobacillus acidophilus uses carbohydrates as “building blocks”to grow, multiply and produce acid. When we incubate a selected Lactobacillus acidophilus strain in broth and anaerobic conditions, as a result of the acid production, the pH of the broth will decline. Therefore, a low pH is linked to enhanced growth and metabolic activity.

In this test, we assess the growth of Lactobacillus acidophilus using the final pH in the culture broth as evidence of growth and acid production. Also, we added bromocresol green dye to the medium in order to visualize the change of pH, as its color changes from green to yellow when the medium is acidified.


Strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus strains isolated from swine intestine, purchased from China Center of Industrial Culture Collection (CICC). A solution is preparated containing 1*104cfu /mL.

Material: Chicory extract, provided by PlusVet Animal Health.

Reagent: 3 g/L Bromocresol green indicator.

Groups – Microbiological media

1. Blank Control group —MRS broth-Basic (10 ml/tube)

Components(L-1): Peptone, 10.0g; Beef extract powder, 10.0g; Yeast extract,5 .0g; K2HPO4, 2.0g; Sodium acetate, 5.0g; M(NH4)3C6H5O7·2H2O, 2.0g,MgSO4·7H2O, 0.1g,MnSO4·H2O, 0.05g and Tween 80, 1.0g,pH6.5±0.2(25℃).

2.  Positive control group —MRS broth with glucose (10 ml/tube)

8% glucose+MRS broth-Basic.

Lactobacillus acidophilus can also use glucose as substrate for growth and acid production, and content of glucose in commercial MRS broth is 8%, so we choose this composition as positive control.

3. Test groups —MRS broth with chicory extract (10 ml/tube)

1% chicory +MRS broth-Basic

2% chicory +MRS broth-Basic.

In all media. for every of 100ml broth, we added 0.2ml bromocresol green indicator.

All media were sterilized at 121℃ for 15 min.


In aseptic conditions, in each tube of all the groups, we added 1ml of the Lactobacillus acidophilus suspension.

The tubes were anaerobically incubated for 48 h at 37ºC.


Color after 48h

From left to right: Blank Control, chicory extract 1%, chicory extract 2%, positive control (glucose 8%).


Final pH in the tubes that contained chicory extract is not only lower than the blank control but also lower than the 8% glucose group (positive control), demonstrating that chicory extract can promote the growth, multiplication and acid-production of Lactobacillus acidophilus.

Besides, the color of broth in the tubes that contained different concentrations of chicory extract is yellow, while the control is green and the group with 8% glucose is yellow-green. Yellow color is an indicator of low pH.

Ms. Li ZhiChao, Technical Sales Support and Product Development

Products of choice

PlusProtect Digestive© (poultry), ActiPlus© (suckling piglets) and SupraPlus© (weaned piglets) are our liquid products containing chicory extract.

GrowthPlus©, (poultry, aquaculture, rabbits), PigletPlus© (piglets and fattening pigs), ReproPlus© (sows) and PlusBind Bio© (mycotoxin binder) are our powder products containing chicory extract.

For more information on this topic and on our products, do not hesitate to contact us through info@plusvet.eu

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Certain health statements may not be applicable in your geographical region. Product claims may differ based upon the requirements of your government.

Posted in: ActiPlus, ExtraProtect, GrowthPlus, PigletPlus, PlusProtect Digestive, Poultry, Rabbits, ReproPlus, Ruminants, SupraPlus, Swine

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