Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked question for our GOS brands NZMP SureStart, Promovita® & Nutrabiotic®

General Queries

Q. What is GOS?
A.

Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are a prebiotic carbohydrate formed by the enzymatic processing of lactose. It is most commonly sold in a light yellow syrup format or dry powder.

Q. What is a prebiotic?
A.

Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth or activity of advantageous-bacteria in the colon, thus improving host health.

Q.

Can I buy organic GOS?

A.

Yes, Dairy Crest can supply you with organic GOS in liquid and dry powder.

Q.

Is GOS GMO free?

A.

Yes, all our GOS is GMO free.

GOS Manufacture Process

Q.

How is GOS made?

A.

Galacto-oligosaccharide syrup 57% and 64% are made from 100% bovine milk derived lactose in an enzyme catalysed reaction process. The total solids are controlled in an evaporator to ~73-76% prior to packing. 57% of the dry matter is defined as ‘GOS’. The remainder of the dry solids are lactose, glucose and galactose.

Q.

What is the enzyme used?

A.

The microbial source of the beta-galactosidase (enzyme) used in the manufacture of GOS is Aspergillus oryzae. The enzyme has GRAS status and is safe to use in the EU.

GOS Product and Testing Parameters

Q.

How do I test for GOS in my finished product?

A.

A chromatographic test (HPLC) has been developed to measure the GOS content within the finished product.

The test we have developed, in conjunction with an independent university, is more specific and accurate than current chromatographic methods based on those listed in AOAC 2001.02.

Fonterra & Dairy Crest will work with a central analytical laboratory in Europe (or China) for customer analyses ensuring accuracy and repeatability in the testing of finished goods.

Q.

What gives confidence in consistently meeting IF grade microbial requirements?

A.

In the manufacture of GOS, lactose is heat treated for 1hr at 95°C. This is a more severe heat treatment than standard milk pasteurisation and hence the microbial risk in the product after this processing step is low.

GOS syrup product is packed at a pH of ~3.2 and 75% solids – the water activity (aw) is very low and, in combination with the low pH does not support microbial growth.

We have full traceability and control of the ingredients used to manufacture the GOS product.

The manufacturing site is BRC and ISO 22000 approved and meets strict hygiene standards for the manufacturing of infant formula ingredients.

Storage, Handling and Packing

Q.

What is the packaging format?

A.

GOS is supplied in an Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) with white/translucent plastic container housed within a tubular metal cage. Each IBC weighs 1.2mt and the Minimum Order Quantity is 1 full IBC.

Q.

What is the shelf life of GOS?

A.

GOS has a shelf life of 18 months.

Q.

What tests have been carried out to ensure stability over time?

A.

The product has been thoroughly tested for stability over time (particularly with regard to pH and temperature). Over the course of the shelf life the material is stable as a chemical entity and there is no change in the specification of polymers.

Q.

What is the best way to store my GOS IBC?

A.

Galacto-oligosaccharides are hygroscopic and can absorb odours. Therefore adequate protection is essential. It is recommended that product is stored at an ambient temperature below 25°C, relative humidity below 65%, and in an odour free environment.

Q.

What impact does temperature cycling have on the product?

A.

Temperature cycling, within reasonable limits will have no effect on the polymer composition and, due to the product pH, should have minimal effect on colour due to Maillard reactions.

Q.

Will GOS discolour over time?

A.

GOS is a clear to pale yellow colour. It should not discolour over time if stored under the correct storage conditions.

Q.

Will GOS solidify over time and if so how do I get it out of the IBC?

A.

The modern, highly automated facility at our GOS site in Davidstow, Cornwall, United Kingdom has a number of controls in place to ensure that the product manufactured is within specification and will be free of any issues relating to solidification.

Q.

What is the best way to pump my GOS IBC out?

A.

GOS is a thick (viscous) syrup, but can be emptied without the need to be heated, although heating can be applied as higher temperatures will reduce the viscosity and help facilitate pumping. GOS should be stored at an ambient temperature and not chilled as this would increase the viscosity.

Q.

Is the IBC gas flushed?

A.

IBC’s are packed in a high care area with over pressured filtered air and therefore do not need to be gas flushed.

Q.

How long after opening should I consume the GOS IBC?

A.

If correctly sealed GOS would be stable after opening for 14 days, however this needs to be confirmed by local quality teams through their HACCP procedures with regards to yeast and moulds. We recommend processing the contents as soon as possible after opening.

Q.

How do I take an aseptic sample out of the IBC for quality control purposes?

A.

A local risk assessment would have to take place, however removing the top cap and a sterile sample dipper would be recommended.

Q.

What is the connection on the IBC outlet?

A.

S100x8.

Q.

Where can I get an adaptor if required?

A.

Details for the pallecon supplier are as follows:

SCHÜTZ (UK) Ltd.
Claylands Av. Dukeries Ind. Est.
GB-Worksop, Notts. S81 7BE.

Q.

What do I do with the IBC after use?

A.

The pallecon comes with instructions explaining how the IBC can be collected and/or recycled.

GOS Efficacy and Science

Q.

What is a DP fraction?

A.

DP refers to degree of polymerisation, which is the number of monosaccharide units making up a galacto-oligosaccharide. The majority of the DP fractions found in our GOS products vary between 2 (a disaccharide) and 8 (an octasaccharide). Higher chain lengths are also found at lower concentrations.

Q.

What is the level of variation in the DP fraction?

A.

The modern, highly automated facility at Davidstow has a carefully controlled manufacturing process that can minimize the variation in the DP fraction. The profile is monitored during the production process to ensure that it is consistent with the specification.

Q.

How do Dairy Crest ensure control?

A.

All current testing has shown a high degree of repeatability of the DP fractions.

The typical levels are as follows:

Degree of Polymerisation (DP)
2 3 4 5 6 7+
Typical % in GOS 20% 30% 11% 3.0% 0.6% 0.1%
Q.

What studies have been done that prove the bifidogenicity of NZMP SureStart GOS?

A.

Many studies have been reported in the literature using both broad specificity probes in FISH analyses to deeper metagenomic sequencing for bifidobacterium spp. In these studies bifidobacteria have been shown to respond to oligosaccharides containing ß(1→3), ß(1→4) and ß(1→6) bonds all of which are found in our GOS.

Q.

What clinical studies have been done with NZMP SureStart GOS?

A.

At this stage, we have ascertained there is no requirement for clinical studies given the similarity between different GOS products. However, we are willing to work with customers who wish to conduct a clinical study with GOS

Regulatory

Q.

Is GOS eligible for sale in the Chinese market?

A.

Yes, it is included in current legislation. We always seek to be compliant with legislation.