How is dsm-firmenich helping to shape the global HMO market?

By:  Talking Nutrition Editors

  • Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), a bioactive component of breastmilk, are a recent innovation in the early life nutrition market that are attracting increasing attention as a result of the health benefits they bring.
  • As the HMO market develops – especially in regions like China where it is still in its infancy – and new science emerges, having an experienced global partner on board that understands specific regional and market needs is key to unlocking the potential of these ingredients.
  • Read on to discover the latest science behind HMOs and how dsm-firmenich is working as an end-to-end partner to help customers worldwide leverage the benefits of HMOs and innovate in this promising space.

HMOs: next generation nutrients

HMOs are an emerging ingredient in the infant nutrition market due to their role in shaping a healthy gut microbiome, maintaining a strong immune system and supporting optimal brain development. Yet, despite strong evidence supporting the benefits of HMOs, the industry has only just begun to translate academic research into clinically validated infant nutrition products. This is because, until recently, the market has been lacking the advanced technologies needed to create and add cost-efficient, high-quality and safe HMOs to nutrition solutions on a large scale. Now, the HMO market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 23% up to 2027, fueled by increasing awareness of their function and health benefits, and rising consumption of infant formula.1

End-to-end HMO expertise

dsm-firmenich is pioneering the future of innovation in the global HMO market. Through its science-backed GlyCare™ HMO portfolio – available for use in more than 165 countries – and customized solutions, powered by expert services, the company is helping customers worldwide leverage the benefits of HMOs to launch purpose-led infant nutrition products.

With significant knowledge of different regulatory and legal landscapes worldwide, dsm-firmenich is leading the number of approvals on HMOs and is continuously expanding its global footprint to make HMOs easily available to partners across the world. In addition, together with leading clinical partners, universities and external labs, dsm-firmenich is spearheading research in the field, having supported more than 20 studies to date to advance the industry’s understanding of HMOs and their relevance for human health.  

Bringing global HMO science to regional markets

Showcasing how the global company supports customers at a local level, dsm-firmenich recently brought together key opinion leaders across China and prominent experts in the HMO field to share insights on unlocking the potential of HMOs in the region. The knowledge-sharing webinar connected regional expert, Professor Yumei Zhang of Beijing University and international HMO specialist Dr. Louise Vigsnæs. During the session, Professor Zhang presented a science-led discussion on the role of HMOs in infant health and development, and Dr. Vigsnæs explored the broader application of HMOs beyond infancy, including their benefits in gut health and immunity in adults.2,3,4 Professor Zhang explained that the growing bank of global scientific evidence is helping to shape and define the HMO market in China by improving the understanding and awareness of these unique ingredients in the region. 

Want to learn more about how dsm-firmenich is supporting HMO-based infant nutrition innovation worldwide?

Published on

16 July 2021


  • Essentials for early life
  • Early Life
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Article
  • Senior Management
  • Babies and Nursing
  • Expert Services


3 min read

Related Articles

Related Content


  1. Grand View Research. Human milk oligosaccharides market size worth $101.5 million by 2027. [website], accessed 6 July 2021.
  2. Elison E et al. Oral supplementation of healthy adults with 2'-O-fucosyllactose and lacto-N-neotetraose is well tolerated and shifts the intestinal microbiota. Br J Nutr. Vol. 116, no. 11, pg. 1356-1368, 2016.
  3. Illiano P et al. The mutual interplay of gut microbiota, diet and human disease. Febs j. vol. 287, no. 5, pg. 833-855, 2020.
  4. Iribarren C et al. Human milk oligosaccharide supplementation in irritable bowel syndrome patients: a parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Neurogastroenterol Motil. Vol. 32, no. 10, e13920, 2020. 

Quick Links

Premix Solutions

Customized blends of desired functional ingredients in one single, efficient, homogenous premix.

Health Benefits & Solutions

Solutions to address consumers' health and lifestyle needs.

Market-ready Solutions

Streamline your product development process and get to market faster.

We're innovators in nutrition, health, and beauty. And we bring progress to life!

Talking Nutrition

Explore new science, consumer insights, industry events and more.

Customer Portal

Request samples, place orders and view product documentation.