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New testing capability for Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs)

in Laboratory Testing
Author: AsureQuality

Infant formula manufactured in New Zealand brings in between $1.5 -1.9 billion* per year in export revenue for our dairy industry and is a critical nutritional product throughout the world. Advances in technology have enabled the synthesis of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), which are now added to some infant formulas to help bring them closer in composition to human milk, and AsureQuality is pleased to be able to offer new testing capability for HMOs.

HMOs are naturally found in breastmilk where they play an important role in bringing about some of the unique health and nutritional benefits of breastfeeding. They are complex sugars which are indigestible by the infant but provide a source of food for beneficial intestinal bacteria such as bifidobacteria, promoting the establishment of a healthy microbiome in the baby’s gut. In addition to their prebiotic effect in the gut, research has shown that HMOs also play a role in the development of the brain and the immune system, and help to reduce the risk of bacterial and viral infections**.

AsureQuality’s Food Laboratory in Auckland is the first in New Zealand to offer a test for HMOs in infant / paediatric and adult nutritional products. This means that manufacturers of these products seeking to make nutritional claims regarding HMO fortification for international and local markets can now access testing to the internationally recognised AOAC Official Method to support their claims.

* Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries December 2023(external link)

** Human Milk Oligosaccharides: Health Benefits, Potential Applications in Infant Formulas, and Pharmacology(external link)