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Effects of Holder pasteurization on the protein profile of human milk

Italian Journal of Pediatrics 2016 42:36



The most widespread method for the treatment of donor milk is the Holder pasteurization (HoP). The available literature data show that HoP may cause degradation of some bioactive components. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of HoP on the protein profile of human milk (HM) using a GeLC-MS method, a proteomic approach and a promising technique able to offer a qualitative HM protein profile.





HM samples were collected by standardized methods from 20 mothers carrying both preterm and term newborns. A aliquot of each sample was immediately frozen at -80 °C, whilst another one was Holder pasteurized and then frozen. All samples were then analyzed by GeLC-MS. The protein bands of interest were excised from the gel, digested with trypsin and identified by nano-HPLC-MS/MS analysis.





The protein profile before and after HoP showed qualitative differences only in 6 samples out of 20, while in the remaining 14 no detectable differences were found. The differences interested only colostrums and transitional milk samples and regarded the decrease of the electrophoretic bands corresponding to alpha and beta-casein, tenascin, lactoferrin and immunoglobulin.





In the majority of samples, HoP did not cause any modification, thereby preserving the biological activity of HM proteins

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Chiara Peila, Alessandra Coscia, Enrico Bertino, Maria Cavaletto, Stefano Spertino, Sara Icardi, Claudia Tortone, Gerard H. A. Visser and Diego Gazzolo
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