Microbial extracellular polysaccharides possess various beneficial characteristics and are potential prebiotic candidates. The extracellular polysaccharide BPS-1 was isolated from Bacillus thuringiensis (its production being optimized by response surface methodology) and subjected to high-cell-density fermentation. BPS-1 is a heteropolysaccharide (molecular weight 35.6 kDa) composed of rhamnose, arabinose, glucosamine, galactose, glucose, and mannose in respective molar ratios 3.7:1.7:4.5:1:3.1:1.1. Its functional groups and structural features were characterized by FT-IR and NMR. The cytotoxicity of BPS-1 was evaluated against HcoEpiC and LoVo cell lines. BPS-1 was also evaluated for its potential effects on human gut microbiota in an in vitro fermentation model. During 48 h of anaerobic fermentation by healthy human fecal bacteria, BPS-1 significantly enhanced the production of short-chain fatty acids and increased the relative abundance of beneficial bacterial genera. This is the first report of the prebiotic potential of BPS-1 produced by Bacillus thuringiensis and provides a basis for its application in the food industry.

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