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Galacto-oligosaccharies (GOS) Standard

v 2.0 | Effective 06/26/2023

Product Definition

Galaco-oligosaccharides (GOS) are non-digestible oligosaccharides consisting of 1 to 9 galactose units linked via glycosidic bonds to either terminal glucose or galactose.  They are obtained by subjecting a concentrated lactose solution to the action of a β-galactosidase enzyme to produce galacto-oligosaccharides and then further terminating the reaction.  The galacto-oligosaccharides may be purified by ultrafiltration, chromatography, ion exchange, electrodialysis, activated carbon filtration or any other safe and suitable process in which all or part of the galacto-oligosaccharides, minerals, other sugars are concentrated into a viscous syrup or a powder.

GOS for human consumption complies with all provisions of the U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Standard: Printable PDF
GOS Syrup (1) GOS Powder
Parameter Units of Measure Limits Limits
GOS composition %, solids basis 50 minimum 28.5 minimum
Protein % 0.7 maximum (2) 0.7 maximum
Lactose % 24 maximum (2) 30 maximum
Ash (sulphated) % 0.5 maximum (2) 0.5 maximum
Total moisture %, as-is basis 28 maximum 4.5 maximum

(1) Includes Organic GOS Syrup

(2) On a dry basis

Other Characteristics
Physico-chemical Properties
GOS Syrup (1) GOS Powder
Parameter Units of Measure Limits Limits
pH (3) -- 2.8 - 3.8 2.8 - 3.5
Viscosity cP @ 25°C 1,000 - 5,000 n/a
Color visual colorless to light tan/yellow white
Flavor sensory slightly sweet

(3) Measured as-is for GOS Syrup; on a 10% solution for GOS Powder

Microbiological Analysis
Parameter Units of Measure Limits
Standard Plate Count CFU/g 3,000 maximum
Yeast and Mold CFU/g 100 maximum
Escherichia coli CFU/g 10 maximum
Enterobacteriaceae CFU/g 10 maximum
Salmonella CFU/25g not detected
Staphylococcus aureus CFU/g 10 maximum
Permissible Additives

Galaco-oligosaccharides (GOS) may be pH adjusted with appropriate mineral or organic acid or base.  Any pH adjustment agent used for this purpose shall be food grade and shall be used in accordance with U.S. current Good Manufacturing Practices and in accordance with its GRAS status, where applicable.

Methods of Analysis
Parameter Reference Method
GOS composition AOAC 2001.02
Protein SMEDP 15.132
Lactose AOAC 984.15
Ash (sulphated) USP/NF <281> Residue on ignition
Dry Matter Vacuum oven solids
Standard plate count AOAC 966.23
All other microbiological tests FDA BAM
Product Labeling

Recommended identifications:



May be further clarified to describe its physical form (syrup or powder)

Product applications include infant formulas and conventional foods like soups, bakery products, cereals, jellies, jams and fruit and vegetable juices. Also in nutritional and dietary supplements, medical and specialized nutrition, and pharmaceutical applications.

Product should be stored, shipped, and utilized according to the manufacturer’s established recommendations.  As guidance, product should be stored and shipped in a cool, dry environment with temperature below 80°F and relative humidity below 65%.  Stocks should be rotated and utilized in accordance with the manufacturer’s established date of expiration or retest.

Suitable closed containers are typical.

Additional Resources

Additional resources including the Dried Dairy Ingredients Handbook and more are available for ADPI members. Click the button to log-in to access these resources.

In no event shall ADPI be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to: the need to procure substitute goods or services; loss of use, data, or profits; or business interruption) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the publication, use of, or reliance upon any standard, even if advised of the possibility of such damage and regardless of whether such damage was foreseeable.



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