The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months, followed by continued breastfeeding together with complementary foods.1
Breast milk is the best food for infants with optimal nutritional properties and many of its ingredients have specific physiological functions. Sugars are a main component of human milk, ahead of fats and proteins. In addition to lactose, which serves as an energy source, human breast milk contains 7–25 grams of complex sugar molecules (oligosaccharides) per liter. These complex sugars are only found at significant concentrations in human milk, and they are collectively known as human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs).
How it all began
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the German-Austrian pediatrician and bacteriologist Professor Theodor Escherich (1857-1911) and the German pediatrician Ernst Moro (1874-1951) were able to show that a certain sugar component in breast milk influences the development of the intestinal microbiome and thus have a positive impact on infant health. Since then, more than 150 different complex oligosaccharides have been isolated from human milk. We have learned much about the specific functional properties of these oligosaccharides.
Studies have been carried out to characterize the prebiotic benefit these sugars may have on the development of a natural human microbiome, and have also suggested that a balanced immune system is supported by a healthy gut microbiome.
We provide innovative, scalable and efficient production processes for selected HMOs and these products match their natural counterparts in terms of structure and function. The quality of our HMOs and the corresponding manufacturing processes are tailored to allow these products to be used in some regions e.g. as functional food ingredients in infant nutrition and food for special medical purposes (FSMP) as well as general functional nutrition.
The Chr. Hansen HMO advantage
Our production runs under the quality standards FSSC 22000 and ISO 9001. Our products are available in various purity levels (up to 98%), partly also available as hypoallergenic, are all Kosher and Halal certified, produced with spray dried technology and can be offered for either wet- or dry blending.
1 World Health Organisation. International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9241541601 Accessed 6th December 2021.