Effect of processing on polyamine content and bioactive peptides released after in vitro gastrointestinal digestion of infant formulas

J Dairy Sci. 2016 Feb;99(2):924-932. doi: 10.3168/jds.2015-10030. Epub 2015 Dec 10.


This study examined the influence of processing on polyamines and peptide release after the digestion of a commercial infant formula designed for children during the first months of life. Polyamine oxidase activity was not suppressed during the manufacturing process, which implicates that polyamine concentrations were reduced over time and during infant formula self-life. In gel electrophoresis, in vitro gastrointestinal digestion of samples with reduced amount of enzymes and time of digestion shows an increase in protein digestibility, reflected in the increase in nonprotein nitrogen after digestion and the disappearance of β-lactoglobulin and α-lactalbumin bands in gel electrophoresis. Depending on the sample, between 22 and 87 peptides were identified after gastrointestinal digestion. A peptide from β-casein f(98-105) with the sequence VKEAMAPK and antioxidant activity appeared in all of the samples. Other peptides with antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and antimicrobial activities were frequently found, which could have an effect on infant health. The present study confirms that the infant formula manufacturing process determines the polyamine content and peptidic profile after digestion of the infant formula. Because compositional dissimilarity between human milk and infant formula in polyamines and proteins could be responsible for some of the differences in health reported between breast-fed and formula-fed children, these changes must be taken into consideration because they may have a great effect on infant nutrition and development.

Keywords: infant formula; mass spectrometry; peptide; polyamine; simulated gastrointestinal digestion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Digestion*
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Formula / chemistry
  • Infant Formula / metabolism*
  • Lactalbumin / analysis
  • Lactalbumin / metabolism
  • Lactoglobulins / analysis
  • Lactoglobulins / metabolism
  • Milk, Human / chemistry
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Polyamines / analysis*
  • Proteolysis


  • Antioxidants
  • Lactoglobulins
  • Peptides
  • Polyamines
  • Lactalbumin