Macronutrient content of pooled donor human milk before and after Holder pasteurization

Pasqua Piemontese, Domenica Mallardi, Nadia Liotto, Chiara Tabasso, Camilla Menis, Michela Perrone, Paola Roggero, Fabio Mosca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Donor human milk (DHM) is the best alternative for preterm infants when their own mother's milk is unavailable. DHM should be pasteurized to guarantee microbiological safety; however, this process can influence the macronutrient content. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Holder pasteurization (HoP) on DHM macronutrient content. Methods: Protein, lactose, lipids (g/100 ml) and energy (kcal/100 ml) of DHM pools were analysed before and after HoP (62.5 °C for 30 min) using mid-infrared spectroscopy (HM analyser Miris AB®). The mean macronutrient content before and after HoP was compared by paired t-test. The percentage decreases (Delta%) were calculated. Results: The change in macronutrient content of 460 pools was determined. Protein, lipids and lactose decreased significantly after HoP (0.88 ± 0.20 vs 0.86 ± 0.20 and 2.91 ± 0.89 vs 2.75 ± 0.84 and 7.19 ± 0.41 vs 7.11 ± 0.48 respectively). The Delta% values were - 2.51 ± 13.12, - 4.79 ± 9.47 and - 0.92 ± 5.92 for protein, lipids and lactose, respectively (p ≤ 0.001). Conclusion: This study confirms that the macronutrient content of DHM, especially in terms of lipids and protein, is reduced after HoP. Therefore, in order to perform a tailored fortification of DHM, the clinicians need to be aware of the somewhat diminished nutrient content of DHM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 12 2019


  • Donor human milk
  • Macronutrients
  • Pasteurization
  • Tailored fortification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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