Human milk storage conditions in regard to safety and optimal preservation of nutritional properties
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This study assessed losses of the linoleic, alpha-linolenic, arachidonic and docosahexaenoic fatty acids, vitamin B2 and total vitamin C during storage of human milk, pasteurized and unpasteurized. The volatile compounds’ pattern change was monitored. The storage conditions were 8 days at 4oC and 6 months at -20oC and at -80oC, with and without limitation of oxygen. Fatty acids were analyzed by GC-FID; vitamins - by HPLC; volatile compounds’ concentration patterns were obtained using the e-nose machine; ANOVA tests were applied, with the statistical significance assigned to P<0.05. The official recommendations for human milk storage of 5-8 days at 4oC and of 6 or more months at -20oC are appropriate in regard to the analyzed nutrients and can be extended for pasteurized human milk storage. Oxygen limitation and -80oC temperature have no clear benefit for nutrient preservation. The evaluation of the odour cannot be based exclusively on the e-nose analysis.