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What is Galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS)?

Published Date : June 07, 2018

Preamble:

Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) fall under the category of prebiotics. They stimulate the action of beneficial bacteria in the colon. However, prebiotics are non-digestible food items. They are manufactured commercially and are preferably used by both adults and infants.

Compositional variations observed in GOS compounds:

The enzymatic conversion of lactose yields Galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS), wherein lactose is a component of bovine milk. There are compositional variations observed in GOS molecules. This essentially refers to the sort of linkage found between the monomer units and the variation in chain length. Galactose units are seen in GOS molecules that arise through the transgalactosylation reactions taking place consecutively. The degree of polymerization observed in GOS molecules could differ explicitly ranging from 2 to 8 monomeric units. This is purely based upon the variety of enzyme used for the manufacture of GOS molecules and also based upon the conversion degree of lactose.

Factors influencing production variations:

The type of GOS manufactured could be determined by a variety of factors entailing the source of enzyme, the free or immobilized type of process that is involved, feeding stock (concentration of lactose) and enzyme dosage, origin of the lactose, medium composition and reaction conditions that ponderously influence the processing situation. Furthermore, the yield and style of GOS prepared could be determined using the above mentioned factors as well.

Commercial GOS:

GOS molecules have been employed in the food industry for quite a long time now. Various sugar manufacturing enterprises and branded milk firms utilized GOS molecules to their benefits. However, now they are pervasively observed in applications pertaining to the maintenance of infant nutrition.

Variations in purity:

GOS purity variations had brought variations in the product put forth by the crucial manufacturers. Consequently, there had been GOS syrups and GOS powders being commercialized rampantly in the market scene. The percent variation of oligosaccharides plays a pivotal part in the determination of purity.

Variations in linkage chains:

There are also variations in the linkages of the oligosaccharide chains due to the usage of different enzymes in the production process. Subsequently, the physiology and health quotient of the host body could be potentially impacted.

Salubrious benefits:

Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli are beneficial bacteria and GOS molecules have proven to be an exceptional substrate for these bacteria. It has been proven by the conduction of various studies that the presence of bifidobacteria could be enriched through the consumption of foods containing Galacto-oligosaccharide molecules. They can furnish relief from constipation for infants, elderly and even pregnant women. The symbiotic properties of GOS molecules could enhance the resistance to respiratory infections.