An Italian technology will allow to preserve many more nutritional and biological values of mother’s milk, through pasteurization of human milk donated to Milk Banks.
Guido Moro, president of the Italian Association of Donated Human Milk Banks (AIBLUD), Laura Cavallarin of CNR in Turin and Enrico Bertino, director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Center of Torino University, invented a new method of quick pasteurization – from 5 to 15 seconds – at high temperature – 72°C – to preserve main properties of donated milk. Today, the ilk donated to the banks (34 in Italy and 210 in Europe) is processed through traditional Holder pasteurization (62,5°C for 30 minutes), which unfortunately destroys many bioactive and nutritional ingredients, thus reducing its positive effects.
This method guarantees a safe and low-impact pasteurization process, which is ideal for the different volumes of donations since it is able to pasteurize up to 10 l of milk per hour, with a minimum volume of 100 ml.
The role of breast milk in the development of premature babies
It is well know how mother’s ilk plays a crucial role in the survival and correct development of premature newborns: It provide enzymes, proteins, fats and other bioactive principles that foster growth of immature organs and gastro-intestinal and metabolic systems in premature newborns, it also decreases grave diseases percentage, such as necrotizing enterocolitis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, premature retinopathy and numerous other conditions that put the newborns’ survival in danger. Breast milk can have a substantial and long-term impact on cognitive development in premature babies, who have a higher chance to develop neurologic disorders compared to end-term newborns.
According to Prof. Moro, the unrivalled value of mother’s milk for premature newborns and end-terms babies has never been more obvious and the medical community, along with government and society, have the duty to make the necessary changes in order to ensure that all newborns can receive an ideal breastfeeding, and that mothers and children receive the necessary support to provide them with it.