Fermentation properties and prebiotic potential of novel low molecular weight polysaccharides (LMWPs)derived from agar and alginate bearing seaweeds was investigated. Ten LMWPs were supplemented to pH, temperature controlled anaerobic batch cultures inoculated with human feces from three donors, in triplicate. Microbiota changes were monitored using Fluorescent in-situ hybridization and short chain fatty acids, the fermentation end products were analysed using gas chromatography. Of the ten LMWPs tested, Gelidium seaweed CC2253 of molecular weight 64.64 KDa showed a significant increase in bifidobacterial populations from log10 8.06 at 0 h to log10 8.55 at 24 h (p ¼ 0.018). For total bacterial populations, alginate powder CC2238 produced a significant increase from log10 9.01 at 0 h to log10 9.58 at 24 h (p ¼ 0.032). No changes were observed in the other bacterial groups tested viz. Bacteroides, Lactobacilli/ Enterococci, Eubacterium rectale/Clostridium coccoides and Clostridium histolyticum. The polysaccharides also showed significant increases in total SCFA production, particularly acetic and propionic acids, indicating that they were readily fermented. In conclusion, some LMWPs derived from agar and alginate bearing seaweeds were fermented by gut bacteria and exhibited potential to be used a novel source of prebiotics.