Comparison of Milk Oligosaccharides Pattern in Colostrum of Different Horse Breeds

E. Difilippo, H.A.M. Willems, J.C. Vendrig, J. Fink-Gremmels, H. Gruppen, H.A. Schols

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Colostrum oligosaccharides are known to exhibit prebiotic and immunomodulatory properties. Oligosaccharide composition is species-specific, and equine colostrum has been reported to contain unique oligosaccharides. Therefore, equine oligosaccharides (EMOS) from colostrum from different horse breeds were analyzed by CE-LIF, CE-MSn, HILIC-MSn, and exoglycosidase degradation. Sixteen EMOS were characterized and quantified, of which half were neutral and half were acidic. EMOS showed about 63% structural overlap with human milk oligosaccharides, known for their bioactivity. Seven EMOS were not reported before in equine oligosaccharides literature: neutral Gal(ß1–4)HexNAc, Gal(ß1–4)Hex-Hex, ß4'-galactosyllactose, and lactose-N-hexaose, as well as acidic 6'-Sialyl-Hex-Ac-HexNAc, sialyllacto-N-tetraose-a, and disialylacto-N-tetraose (isomer not further specified). In all colostrum samples, the average oligosaccharide concentration ranged from 2.12 to 4.63 g/L; with ß 6'and 3'- galactosyllactose, 3'-sialyllactose, and disialyllactose as the most abundant of all oligosaccharides (27–59, 16–37, 1–8, and 1–6%, respectively). Differences in presence and in abundance of specific EMOS were evident not only between the four breeds but also within the breed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4805-4814
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • neutral oligosaccharides
  • mass-spectrometry
  • bovine colostrum
  • fed babies
  • lactation
  • feces
  • acid


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