Storage of human milk and the influence of procedures on immunological components of human milk


RA Lawrence, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA (Tel. +1 716 275 4354, fax. +1 716 461 3614)


The storage of human milk for use later by the mother's own infant or an unrelated recipient has an impact on its constituents. These effects involve the storage container, heating, cooling and freezing the milk. Overall, glass is the least destructive container. Milk can be safely refrigerated for 72 h with little change. Freezing destroys cellular activity and reduces vitamins B6 and C. Boiling, in addition, destroys lipase and reduces the effect of immunoglobulin A and secretory immunoglobulin A. The nutrient value of human milk is essentially unchanged, but the immunological properties are reduced by various storage techniques.