Better food for infants

Human breast milk contains high concentrations of complex carbohydrates that have many beneficial properties including protection against pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Finding a way to provide cow’s milk with components such as complex carbohydrates to make it resemble human breast milk more is an important scientific objective. The complex carbohydrates in human breast milk have very diverse structures and it is not yet clear which compounds have important biological properties. In a research project being carried out by Prof. G.J. Boons (Utrecht University) and dairy producers Friesland Campina, chemical methods are being developed to create a large collection of these complex carbohydrates that will then be used in both binding studies and functional studies to determine which complex carbohydrates can be used to produce better food for infants in the future.

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