A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW ON PHARMACEUTICAL AND NUTRITIONAL APPLICATIONS OF INULIN
Keywords:Inulin, Pharmaceutical applications, Targeted drug delivery, Prebiotics
Inulin is a versatile, water-soluble polysaccharide that is commonly available in nature. In the pharmaceutical industry, the non-digestible function of inulin has made it attractive. Inulin is granted with GRAS status by the FDA and more than 30,000 plants in nature store inulin as a carbohydrate. The chicory is the key plant source of inulin out of all sources. It can be used as the sugar or fat replacer in the processed foods to influence the desirable characteristics. Good biocompatibility, essential chemical properties, and a wide variety of bioactivities have rendered inulin an outstanding natural nutrient. Regulating blood sugar, antioxidant, anticancer is some of the biological activities of inulin. Inulin can also be a carrier for colon/tumor targeting, as only specific enzymes in the colon zhydrolyze the inulin. It allows the growth of micro-flora, the good bacteria in the gut. Inulin is considered as a prebiotic as it is fermented by bacteria that normalize the colon. This review offers an in-depth insight into its novel Pharmaceutical applications as well as sources, processing, physicochemical properties, and nutritional and physiological activities. The chemically modified inulin is gaining a specific interest in the pharmaceutical field with its outstanding properties which are discussed in this review.
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