HMOs are the general term for complex sugar molecules (oligosaccharides) occurring in human breast milk. They are important components of human milk that promote infant health. HMOs comprise a group of structurally complex, unconjugated glycans that are highly abundant in human milk. HMOs are minimally digested in the gastrointestinal tract and reach the colon intact, where they shape the microbiota.
The proposed methodology describes how HMOs can be analyzed by HPTLC during different production steps (fermentation and finished products) and demonstrates the quantification of HMOs in different real case samples. Samples are directly applied after a simple dilution step. HMOs, which are lacking a chromophore/fluorophore, are sensitively detected in white light and longwave UV light after derivatization with aniline diphenylamine phosphoric acid reagent.