Recently, we have seen a lot of research on identifying and reproducing therapeutic compounds in breast milk, such as lactoferrin and lysozymes. This time, researchers from the University of California-Davis and Agilent Technologies have developed a technique combining the used of a “glycan chip” and a time-of-flight mass spectrometer to identify other bioactive oligosaccharides in breast milk.
A recent study published online in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry detailed the successful use of two analytical tools to identify oligosaccharides in samples from five women in single runs.
The researchers found large variations between women in the total numbers and abundance of different oligosaccharides, with the total number per individual varying from 33 to 124. Only a few oligosaccharides were common to all subjects.
The researchers hope to use this technique to further study oligosaccharide function in human development. Their study has been published online in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.