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Keywords:

  • Fortification;
  • Human milk;
  • Preterm infant

Abstract

Aim: Mother's milk is optimum for preterm infants, but human milk fortifier is required at times, because some nutrients are sometimes insufficient for infant growth. It is important to measure the nutrients in breast milk at bedside so that the amount of nutrients that need to be supplemented can be determined. A human milk analyser (HMA, Miris®) is currently available. We examined if the macronutrient values measured by human milk analyser are comparable with those measured by conventional methods. We also sought to discover whether we could dilute the milk sample used for the human milk analyser measurement if the amount of milk available for testing was insufficient.

Subjects and Methods: First, the results of protein, fat and lactose content in breast milk samples obtained using the human milk analyser and conventional methods were compared. Second, we measured diluted samples and compared the values with nondiluted samples.

Results: When comparing the human milk analyser and conventional methods, all three nutrients exhibited a significantly positive correlation (p < 0.001); lactose content was reliable on the condition that it is 6–7 g/dL. The lactose content measured by the HPLC method was obtained by 3.05 × human milk analyser value − 13.4. When comparing diluted and nondiluted samples, fat and protein had expected values after dilution whereas lactose did not.

Conclusion: The human milk analyser can inform us about the amount of major nutrients in breast milk: fat, protein and lactose. However, when human milk is diluted, the lactose content measured by the human milk analyser is overestimated.