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Breastfeed Med. 2010 Apr;5(2):59-66. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2009.0028.

Design and characterization of a human milk product for the preterm infant.

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Discipline of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Biomedical, Biomolecular, and Chemical Science, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.



It is necessary to fortify human milk to promote optimal growth of the very preterm infant. However, the addition of non-human milk components to human milk is not ideal because of the risk of feeding intolerance and necrotizing enterocolitis. Human milk products (HMP) are an alternative to commercially available fortifiers, but their preparation is likely to result in modifications to the qualities of human milk.


Ten batches of HMP were prepared with the aim of meeting a desired protein:energy ratio of 3.0 g of protein/100 kcal. Ultrafiltration was used to produce a skim milk concentrate, to which cream was then added to produce the final HMP. Characterization of HMP and human milk fortified with commercial human milk fortifiers (Nutriprem [Cow & Gate, Limerick, Ireland] and S-26 SMA human milk fortifier [Wyeth Nutrition, Baulkham Hills, NSW, Australia]) included quantifying macronutrient content, osmolality, microbial content, and particle distribution.


Average protein:energy ratio of the final batch was 2.93 +/- 0.10 g of protein/100 kcal, equating to an inaccuracy of 2.5% relative to the desired ratio of 3.0 g of protein/100 kcal. Significantly greater fat (P < 0.01), lower lactose (P < 0.001), and lower osmolality (P < 0.001) were characteristic of the HMP compared to human milk fortified with either commercial fortifier. Microbial growth occurred during preparation of HMP but did not exceed 10(5) colony-forming units/mL, and pasteurization of human milk prevented contamination in 80% of batches.


HMP can be designed to accurately target the protein and energy requirements of the preterm infant, but modifications of the macronutrient, biochemical, structural, and microbial characteristics of human milk may affect the quality of the final product.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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