Fermented milk

Metabolite profiling of milk and fermented milk


The power of metabolite profiling can also be applied to milk and fermented milk. We have added some examples of how much information can be achieved just with one GC-MS method.


Milk may be fermented by starter cultures. Suggestions on how to apply metabolite profiling:

  • Milk has a high content of proteins and a low content of amino acids. Different milk types, shelf life, and quality can be investigated.
  • Information about the proteolytic properties of the starter cultures can be obtained.
  • The growth conditions for different cultures/mutants or different fermentors/scales can be compared.
  • Putative biomarkers for specific probiotic bacteria may be identified.


The milk and fermented milks were compared using a GC-MS method which measures amino acids and other organic acids simultaneously. Around one hundred compounds were measured. Below are four figures:

1) A principal component analysis (PCA) of the results of the fermented milks

2) Bar plots of different classes of compounds.