The number of oligosaccharides present in human milk is relatively high. These oligosaccharides (HMOs) are essential for the development of the neonates. As the oligosaccharides content in cow milk is significantly lower than the levels in mother’s milk, another alternative source of oligosaccharides is being researched. Goat milk is believed that it could play such a role.

A protocol for the extraction of the oligosaccharides from goat milk samples was established and evaluated using reference samples of colostrum and full-term milk.

The described protocol has been applied to the analysis of goat milk samples in collaboration with two goat farms from the Netherlands. Milk samples of different time points of lactation have been selected from 60 goats of the two farms.

The samples were analyzed with univariate and multivariate statistical tools in order to highlight the variability of the profile of GOS between the goats and the potential differences between the two farms.
The above-mentioned statistical analysis allowed an in-depth exploration of potential correlations of several factors with the GOS profiles. Such factors were the breeds, milk production, fat and protein content, age and parity. Some of these factors were found to be correlated with certain structures, which is the basis for the next generation of goat milk based infant nutrition products.

This project is part of the Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling (EFRO).