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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2019 Mar;32(6):985-991. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2017.1397122. Epub 2017 Nov 6.

The human milk oligosaccharides are not affected by pasteurization and freeze-drying.

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a Department of Pediatrics , Seoul Hospital, School of Medicine, Soon Chun Hyang University , Seoul , Republic of Korea.
b Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Human Ecology , Chungnam National University , Daejeon , Republic of Korea.
c Department of Political Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences , University of Antwerp , Antwerp , Belgium.
d Department of Biostatistics , Soon Chun Hyang Medical Center , Seoul , Republic of Korea.
e Department of Nursing , Konkuk University , Chungju , Republic of Korea.



Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are known as important factors in neurologic and immunologic development of neonates. Moreover, freeze-drying seems to be a promising storage method to improve the processes of human milk banks. However, the effects of pasteurization and freeze-drying on HMOs were not evaluated yet. The purpose of this study is to analyze and compare the HMOs profiles of human milk collected before and after the pasteurization and freeze-drying.


Totally nine fresh human milk samples were collected from three healthy mothers at the first, second, and third week after delivery. The samples were treated with Holder pasteurization and freeze-drying. HMOs profiles were analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) time-of-flight/time-of-flight (TOF/TOF) mass spectrometry and compared between samples collected before and after the treatments.


Human milk samples showed significantly different HMO patterns between mothers. However, HMOs were not affected by lactation periods within 3 weeks after delivery (r2 = 0.972-0.999, p < .001). Moreover, both of pasteurization and freeze-drying were found not to affect HMO patterns in a correlation analysis (r2 = 0.989-0.999, p < .001).


HMO patterns were found not to be affected by pasteurization and freeze-drying of donor milks. We hope that introducing freeze-drying to the human milk banks would be encouraged by the present study. However, the storage length without composition changes of HMOs after freeze-drying needs to be evaluated in the further studies.


Freeze-drying; human milk; mass spectrometry; oligosaccharides; pasteurization

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