Inulin is a polymer of fructose sugars, from a handful to hundreds per molecule. Inulin is a form of energy storage and a source of antifreeze (sugars lower the freezing point of a water solution) in members of the onion and lettuce families, notably garlic and the sunchoke. Like the oligosaccharides, inulin is not digestible, and so feeds bacteria in our large intestine and generates gas.
From the book On Food and Cooking (2nd edition) by Harold McGee. © 2004 Harold McGee.
By permission of Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.