Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Food Science (MS)

Degree Level



Food Science


Sun-Ok Lee

Committee Member

Brett Savary

Second Committee Member

Ya-Jane Wang


Biological sciences, Health and environmental sciences, Arabinoxylans, Gut microbiota, polyphenolics, Rice bran


The prevalence of colorectal cancer (CRC) has been increasing in recent years worldwide. In the United States, it is ranked the second leading cause of cancer death. Risks of CRC increase with age and are associated with several lifestyle factors such as diet, drinking and smoking habits, and levels of physical activity. There is an abundance of scientific literature demonstrating the protective roles of several dietary components including fibers and polyphenolic compounds. These compounds have been shown to be able to positively modulate gastrointestinal ecology by increasing the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and promoting the population of beneficial bacteria. Whole grain cereals such as wheat, corn, sorghum, and rice are rich sources of these components. However, they are more abundant in the cereal bran layer which is typically removed during polishing. Research have shown that feruloylated arabinoxylan oligosaccharides (FAXO) isolated from cereals such as wheat, corn, and sorghum exerted prebiotic-like properties by increasing SCFA production and selectively promote microbiota population. Polyphenolic compounds have also been demonstrated to be able to modulate gut microbiota ecology. However, rice bran FAXO and rice bran polyphenolics (RBPP) have not been studied for such properties. Therefore, two rice bran components including FAXO and RBPP are hypothesized to have positive impacts on human gut microbiota. In this study, prebiotic-like properties of FAXO and RBPP were assessed by determining the fermentation patterns of FAXO and RBPP to increase SCFA production and by evaluating the impacts of FAXO and RBPP on the composition of human gut microbiota.