Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method for producing human milk oligosaccharide lactodifuctotetraose (LDFT) using E. coli.
Mother’s milk contains various oligosaccharides, which offer diverse health benefits to infants. Many of these oligosaccharides are not present in most manufactured infant formula products sold globally. Thus, in situations when feeding an infant formula is the preferred caregiver option, it is important to consider adding key oligosaccharides found in human milk to formula milk. However, current methods to produce the desired oligosaccharides – such as extracting them from human milk or producing them with purified enzymes – are either expensive or have proven difficult to scale.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method for producing one key oligosaccharide - lactodifucotetraose (LDFT) - using a non-pathogenic strain of Escherichia coli (E. coli). E. coli cannot produce LDFT naturally. However, researchers have engineered E. coli to express several key enzymes that then allow the E. coli strain to efficiently convert lactose and fucose to LDFT. This process can produce LDFT economically at an industrial scale. This same approach can also be used to produce other human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs).
Human milk oligosaccharides, Escherichia coli (E. coli), infant formula, lactodifucotetraose, LDFT, Mother’s Milk, Probiotics