Analysis of Sialic Acid in Human Milk

Analysis of Sialic Acid in Human Milk

Sialic acid in human milk has attracted more and more attention due to its importance. CD BioGlyco provides a full range of sialic acid analysis services to promote the research progress and market application of sialic acid. We have confidence to be your essential research assistant in the field of glycobiology.


Sialic acids (SAs) are a diverse family of naturally occurring 2-keto-3-deoxy-nononic acids. It is widely present in animal tissues and body fluids. It is an important component of glycoproteins, oligosaccharides and glycolipids. In the central nervous system of most mammals, especially the gray matter of the brain, the content of sialic acid is quite high. In addition, sialic acid is a natural nutrient component, which has attracted wide attention because of its high content in breast milk, while its content in bovine milk and infant formula is very low.

Prominent examples of biomolecular sources of sialic acid Figure 1. Prominent examples of biomolecular sources of sialic acid (Röhrig, C.H.; et al. 2015)

Most of the sialic acid in human milk is N-acetyl-D-neuraminic acid (Neu5Ac), which mainly exists in two forms, which are combined with oligosaccharides, proteins and lipids, and a small amount exists in free form. The sialic acid in infant formula is mainly Neu5Ac, but it also contains a certain amount of N-acetyl-D-neuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), mainly in the form of protein binding. The biological effects of sialic acid in breast milk are to promote the cognitive development, enhance the learning and memory capabilities of infants. A large number of studies have also proved that sialic acid combined with oligosaccharides has special antibacterial properties. At present, commercially available formula milk has sialic acid as a parameter of milk optimization, making it closer to the golden standard of breast milk. Therefore, it is necessary to find simple and reliable methods to determine the content and comprehensive analysis of sialic acid in breast milk in order to provide a reference for the production of formula milk.

2C5-conformation of N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac, NANA, right) and N-glycoloylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc, left) Figure 2. 2C5-conformation of N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac, NANA, right) and N-glycoloylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc, left) (Wang, B; Brand-Miller, J. 2003)


CD BioGlyco has been focusing on sialic acid research for more than 10 years and has accumulated a lot of experience. We provide various accurate and rapid techniques to analyze sialic acid, including the traditional resorcinol method and thiobarbituric acid assay based on colorimetry, and high-performance anion-exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAE-PAD), high-performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet detector (HPLC-UV) and high-performance liquid chromatography with a fluorescence detector (HPLC-FLD) and other related analytical methods. Our services include but are not limited to the following aspects.

  • Determination of free and oligosaccharide-bound sialic acid content
  • Determination of protein-bound sialic acid content
  • Determination of total sialic acid content
  • Qualitative analysis of sialic acid


  • Study on the function of sialic acid in human milk
  • Comparative Study
  • Food ingredient development
  • Infant formula ingredients optimization

Advantages of Us

  • Different technology platforms can be selected according to the needs
  • High accuracy and high repeatability
  • Short experiment period
  • Customized service

CD BioGlyco provides a variety of different technology platforms for sialic acid analysis in human milk, customers can choose one or more of these services according to their research needs. We have always been praised by customers for our high-quality services and accurate experimental results.

Customers can contact our employees directly and we will respond promptly. If you are interested in our services, please contact us for more detailed information.


  1. Wang, B; Brand-Miller, J. The role and potential of sialic acid in human nutrition. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2003, 57(11): 1351-1369.
  2. Röhrig, C.H.; et al. The Nutritional Role of Free Sialic Acid, a Human Milk Monosaccharide, and Its Application as a Functional Food Ingredient. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2015.
This service is for Research Use Only, not intended for any clinical use.

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