Perinatology.  2020 Mar;31(1):26-31. 10.14734/PN.2020.31.1.26.

The Effect of Holder Pasteurization and Storage on Macronutrients in Donor Human Milk

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Milk delivered to human milk banks should be pasteurized and stored at −20℃ in order to inactivate any microbial agents that may be present. We aimed to quantify the changes in the macronutrient composition of donor human milk (DHM) that underwent Holder pasteurization (HoP) and subsequent storage.
A total of 54 breast milk samples from 26 healthy lactating mothers were collected at different time points after delivery, at intervals ranging from 1–6 months. We measured the carbohydrate, protein, fat, and energy content before and after HoP. After HoP, DHM was stored at −20℃, and the nutrients were measured at 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 weeks after storage commenced.
The difference in time between expression of milk and pasteurization did not affect the concentration of macronutrients. However, the protein, fat, and energy contents decreased significantly during HoP. The mean values of the protein, fat, and energy contents in DHM pre-HoP were 1.2 g/dL, 3.7 g/dL, and 72.1 kcal/dL, compared with post-HoP values of 1.0 g/dL, 3.1 g/dL, and 65.2 kcal/dL, respectively. Although HoP reduced the protein, fat, and energy contents of donor milk by 16.7%, 16.2%, and 9.6%, respectively, the carbohydrate content was not reduced. Moreover, there was a significant decrease in the content of all the analyzed macronutrients following storage for up to 20 weeks.
The post-HoP storage period affected nutrients, with several human milk components decreasing in content after HoP. As such, DHM after HoP may need fortification to ensure normal infant growth.


Milk; human; Milk banks; Freezing; Nutrients
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