The FOS name stands for Fructo-Oligo-Saccharides.
Fructo” due to the main form of the sugar molecule that composes it (Fructose).

Oligo” because FOS is composed of only a few molecules that are associated in line, forming very short chain polymers.
Saccharides”, since those molecules belong to the family of sugars.

The FOS molecules show nutritional, functional and technical interest:

1. On the nutritional side

They bring two main advantages over other sugars:

  • They contain one third of the caloric energy contained in standard white sugar (saccharose), for the exact same amount. That’s the reason why FOS can be considered as dietary products.
  • Ingestion of FOS does not cause any spike of glucose in the blood plasma (known as glycemic response). Consequently, glycemic index of FOS is close to zero. That’s why the FOS are totally compatible with diet recommended for diabetic people.

2. On the functional side

FOS come with a real major benefit:

They are barely catalyzed (cut) in the stomach and then are not digested in the small intestine. Therefore they arrive under almost intact form in the colon, where they serve as nutrients for the intestinal flora. FOS can especially feed enterial bacteria from the bifidus family, that grow preferably versus some harmful bacteria, such as Enterobacter or E. coli, which are known as harmful bacteria. This is why FOS are considered as bifidogenic fiber. They are part of the prebiotic’s family, as nutrients stimulating production of bacteria that are necessary for large intestine proper functioning (colon).

Since it is now scientifically recognized that bacterial flora of the colon play an absolute essential role in immunity of each individual (ability to respond to viral and bacterial attacks on the human body), FOS definitely contribute to better health. It is also believed that gut flora positively helps cognitive abilities, and boosting cerebral functions (focus, memory, mood,…). Which is a major benefit, especially for aging population.

3. On the technical aspect

They bring same sweetening feeling compared to white sugar (saccharose) also far less intense:

FOS can be concentrated either in syrup or dried under powder form.


They are very easy to formulate and can be incorporated in a wide range of foods. They are targeted to replace traditional sugar. However, they bring only 30% of sweetening power compared to sucrose. When incorporated into drinks, bakeries or yoghurts, the sweet sensation will therefore be lightened.

Novasep Process Solutions partners with FOS producers and brings its support through different purification solutions.

  • Firstly, thanks to exclusive chromatography know-how, we are able not only to purify FOS, but to select very specific FOS profiles (based upon relative composition of each type of polymer molecules making up the FOS).
  • On the other hand, we can propose sirups and powders with very little residual minerals and colors. Which enables customers to use pure and colorless syrups, as well as perfectly white stable powder.

Because the offered technologies are sober in water, energy and chemicals, we help our customers to reduce their carbon footprint while producing best grade functional food ingredients.

Through this example of unique know-how applied to FOS purification, Novasep Process Solutions clearly contributes to reduce carbon footprint of its customers activities, while at the end of the day improving consumers life with better and healthier food.