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Isomalto-Oligosaccharides (IMO)

What are isomalto-oligosaccharides?

Isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMO) are non-digestible short-chain carbohydrates, composed of  up to 10 glucose molecules joined by alpha (1,6) bonds [1].

IMO is a mixture of isomaltose, panose, isomaltotriose, isomaltopentose and higher branched oliogsaccharides [1].

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories per gram = probably less than 2
  • Sweetness, relative to sucrose = 60-70% [1]


IMO is produced from starch obtained from wheat, barley or potatoes, using enzymes [1].


IMO is used as a sweetener in biscuits, cakes, crackers, nutritional food bars, edible ices, tofu, powdered milk, flavoured drinks, sweet sauces, toppings and syrups, ready-to-eat savouries and snacks.

IMO can be used as an added dietary fiber in certain commercial foods.

IMO is also used as a prebiotic supplement [1].


IMO in doses up to 30 g/day is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [1].

Dental Caries

IMO is not fermentable by normal mouth bacteria, so it does not promote tooth decay [1].

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

IMO is less fermentable by normal intestinal bacteria than fructooligosaccharides (FOS). IMO in doses 15-20 grams per day should not cause abdominal bloating, nausea, excessive gas or diarrhea [1].

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