Three strains of Bifidobacterium breve (JCM 7017, JCM 7019 and JCM 2258) and two strains of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis (AD011 and A1dOxR) were grown in broth cultures or on plates, and a standard exopolysaccharide extraction method was used in an attempt to recover exocellular polysaccharides. When the extracted materials were analysed by NMR it was clear that mixtures of polysaccharides were being isolated including exopolysaccharides (EPS) cell wall polysaccharides and intracellular polysaccharides. Treatment of the cell biomass from the B. breve strains, or the B. animalis subsp. lactis AD011 strain, with aqueous sodium hydroxide provided a very similar mixture of polysaccharides but without the EPS. The different polysaccharides were partially fractionated by selective precipitation from an aqueous solution upon the addition of increasing percentages of ethanol. The polysaccharides extracted from B. breve JCM 7017 grown in HBM media supplemented with glucose (or isotopically labelled D-glucose-1- 13C) were characterised using 1D and 2D-NMR spectroscopy. Addition of one volume of ethanol generated a medium molecular weight glycogen (Mw=1×10 5 Da, yield 200 mg/l). The addition of two volumes of ethanol precipitated an intimate mixture of a low molecular weight β-(1→6)-glucan and a low molecular weight β-(1→6)-galactofuranan which could not be separated (combined yield 46 mg/l). When labelled D-glucose-1- 13C was used as a carbon supplement, the label was incorporated into > 95% of the anomeric carbons of each polysaccharide confirming they were being synthesised in situ. Similar 1H NMR profiles were obtained for polysaccharides recovered from the cells of B. animalis subsp. lactis AD011and A1dOxR (in combination with an EPS), B. breve JCM 7017, B. breve JCM 7019, B. breve JCM 2258 and from an EPS (-ve) mutant of B. breve 7017 (a non-EPS producer).