Quality labels for novel foods – Improvement on AOAC 2001.02: GOS analysis with IC-PAD

In the past several years, interest has increased in food additives and dietary supplements such as prebiotics like β-galactooligosaccharides (known as GOSs). Their bifidogenic effects support the proliferation of non-pathogenic gut bacteria, and therefore benefit human as well as animal health. Increasing consumer awareness regarding healthy eating habits has led to the ongoing growth of global prebiotic and GOS markets. Similarly, increased demand regarding food quality has led to stricter, more comprehensive rules for food labeling and safety (e.g., EU 2015/2283). The determination of total GOS contents in food, supplements, or raw products is thus essential to fulfill such requirements.


This Application Note presents an improvement to the standard method for total GOS determination (AOAC 2001.02). Using the same principle (enzymatic hydrolysis of complex GOS molecules followed by chromatographic analysis of simple carbohydrates, i.e., galactose, glucose, and lactose), method efficiency was improved in favor of laboratory time and running costs.