PhD student Jiangnan university, China (People's Republic)
Human milk fat, with about 98% triacylglycerol (TAG), is the major source of energy for infants, the quality of which is important for infant optional development. This study analyzed the fatty acid (FA) profile of the total and sn-2 position and the TAG profile of breast milk samples from 103 healthy women during colostrum, transitional, and mature stages. The multicomponent analysis showed significant differences in FAs profiles of different lactation periods, due to that with relative percentage less than 1%. Transitional and mature milk has much higher level of medium-chain FAs (MCFAs), while colostrum contains more polyunsaturated FAs. Significant differences in the TAGs composition of breast milk from three lactation stages were also observed. The TAGs with high molecular weight and unsaturated FA, such as OPO (18:1-16:0-18:1) and OPL (18:1-16:0-18:2), were enriched in colostrum, while the TAGs containing MCFAs were more abundant in transitional and mature milk than that in colostrum. OPL, as well as linoleic acid which mostly located at the sn-1,3 positions of TAGs, was more common in the milk of Chinese women than in western women, while the most common TAG in breast milk from western women was OPO. Of note, the majority of the breast milk did not meet the standard for the ratio of linoleic acid /α-linolenic acid for infant formula. The study will facilitate the development of infant formulae in terms of the TAG composition more similar to human milk.