High hydrostatic pressure processing of human milk preserves milk oligosaccharides and avoids formation of Maillard reaction products

Published:November 20, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.11.013


      Background & aims

      High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) processing is a non-thermal method proposed as an alternative to Holder pasteurization (HoP) for the treatment of human milk. HHP preserves numerous milk bioactive components that are degraded by HoP, but no data are available for milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) or the formation of Maillard reaction products, which may be deleterious for preterm newborns.


      We evaluated the impact of HHP processing of human milk on 22 HMOs measured by liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection and on furosine, lactuloselysine, carboxymethyllysine (CML) and carboxyethyllysine (CEL) measured by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometric detection (LC-MS/MS), four established indicators of the Maillard reaction. Human raw milk was sterilized by HoP (62.5 °C for 30 min) or processed by HHP (350 MPa at 38 °C).


      Neither HHP nor HoP processing affected the concentration of HMOs, but HoP significantly increased furosine, lactuloselysine, CML and CEL levels in milk.


      Our findings demonstrate that HPP treatment preserves HMOs and avoids formation of Maillard reaction products. Our study confirms and extends previous findings that HHP treatment of human milk provides safe milk, with fewer detrimental effects on the biochemically active milk components than HoP.


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