GOS and FOS profiling via ion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection

GOS and FOS profiling via ion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection

The addition of prebiotic to a variety of food products has become a more common occurrence in recent years and thus requires a more advanced and robust detection technique.

Investigation of the qualitative- and quantitative factors of GOS and FOS profiling via ion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection.

Prebiotics boost immunity by enhancing our ability to absorb important nutrients and trace minerals from the foods we eat. They also effectively help lower the pH in the gut, which inhibits the growth of potential pathogens or damaging bacteria>.

Prebiotics that currently fulfil all three-class criteria are:

  • Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)
  • Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)
  • Lactulose

Prebiotics are either 1st generation or 2nd generation. FOS, GOS (except B-GOS ®) and lactulose prebiotics are classed as 1st generation. There is only one 2nd generation prebiotic; this is referred to as a B-GOS ® and is commercially available under the brand name Bimuno ®.

1st generation prebiotics are selective at the genus level. In other words they are fermented at the family group level (e.g. by bifido bacteria or lactobacillus level) and produce a prebiotic effect – increasing the number and activity of the beneficial bacteria – or a bifidogenic effect – increasing the number and strength of the bifido bacteria.

2nd generation prebiotics are tailor made to offer selectivity at species level (e.g. by Bifidobacterium bifidum) and also offer added functionality, i.e. anti-adhesive or anti-pathogenic properties.

The development of 2nd generation prebiotics resulted from research into GOS structures that could potentially offer protection of the gut from infection and inflammation. It has previously been suggested that such novel GOS structures could simulate receptor sites causing a ‘decoy’ for the pathogen (E.coli and Salmonella species) not to colonize the gut wall.


The goal of this experiment is to verify the qualitative and quantitative reproducibility on a standard FOS and B-GOS sample by measuring the relative peak area and peak retention time respectively. The separation was carried out on the Metrosep Carb 2 – 250/4.0 utilizing a sodium hydroxide /Sodium acetate mobile phase. The sugars were quantified by applying pulsed amperometric detection (PAD) over a gold electrode and a palladium reference electrode.

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