Inulin-oligosaccharide complex (chicory root)

Inulin-oligosaccharide complex (chicory root). Inulin is a fructose-rich oligosaccharide that occurs naturally in plants, including a number of fruits and vegetables such as onions, leeks, garlic, bananas, asparagus and artichokes. Inulin is commonly added to foods due to its sweet taste and texture. Intake in the U.S. ranges from 1 to 4 grams daily. Inulin is considered a form of soluble fiber that is sometimes seen as a prebiotic, a non-digestible food ingredient that promotes the growth and/or activity of beneficial bacteria in the colon. Inulin-type prebiotics also include fructooligosaccharides and oligofructose 1. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been notified that industry considers inulin to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in foods and has not objected to their use for this purpose (GRN No. 000118).

Dahlia plants, such as Dahlia variabilis, are native to Mexico and Central America. They are widely cultivated for their various colorful flower heads. The fructose-containing oligosaccharide, inulin, can be obtained from the dried juice of dahlia tubers 2.

Chicory, Cichorium intybus, is a plant native to Europe and areas of Asia. It was cultivated by ancient Egyptians, and is now consumed as a vegetable in salads in Europe and the United States. Fructans, such as inulin and oligofructose, are extracted from chicory roots 3.

This ingredient can be found in the following products in United States:


  1. PDR for Nutritional Supplements. Montvale, NJ: Physicians’ Desk Reference, Inc, 2008.