• β-galactosidases;
  • transgalactosylation;
  • galacto-oligosaccharides;
  • human milk oligosaccharides;
  • hetero-oligosaccharides


Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) are prominent among the functional components of human breast milk. While HMO have potential applications in both infants and adults, this potential is limited by the difficulties in manufacturing these complex structures. Consequently, functional alternatives such as galacto-oligosaccharides are under investigation, and nowadays, infant formulae are supplemented with galacto-oligosaccharides to mimic the biological effects of HMO. Recently, approaches toward the production of defined human milk oligosaccharide structures using microbial, fermentative methods employing single, appropriately engineered microorganisms were introduced. Furthermore, galactose-containing hetero-oligosaccharides have attracted an increasing amount of attention because they are structurally more closely related to HMO. The synthesis of these novel oligosaccharides, which resemble the core of HMO, is of great interest for applications in the food industry.