Study: Comparison of the Effect of Holder Pasteurization and
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This project aims at comparing the impact of Holder pasteurization (HoP) and high-pressure processing (HPP) on bacterial load and retention of immunological components in human milk.

Human milk samples discarded by the Public Mothers’ milk bank for bacterial purpose were pooled (n = 6) and pasteurized either by heating in a water bath (62.5°C, 30 minutes) or by HPP treatment (425 MPa, four cycles of 6 minutes, initial milk temperature of 4°C or 37°C). Bacterial load, lysozyme activity, and levels of immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, lipase, and 26 cytokines were analyzed. Untreated milk samples from same pools served as control.

--HPP treatment of milk allows a similar elimination of bacteria than HoP; bacterial counts were under the detection limit [less than 3 colony-forming units (CFU)/mL] in 50% of milk pools after HPP treatment, compared to 17% for HoP.

--With initial heating of samples to 37°C before HPP treatment, inactivation to an extent under the detection limit was reached in 67% of pools.

--There is no significant difference in IgA, lysozyme, and cytokines concentrations between untreated milk and all treatment methods.

--While no significant difference was observed in the amount of lipase and IgG between untreated milk and HPP-treated milk samples, HoP seems to be damaging for these factors.

--IgM is well preserved in HPP-4°C samples compared to untreated milk whereas a decrease is observed for this immunoglobulin levels in HPP-37°C and HoP samples.

--Lactoferrin activity, is well maintained in HPP-37°C milk samples in comparison to untreated milk samples.

--A decrease in activity of this molecule is noted for samples treated with HPP at 4°C and this decrease is even more pronounced for HoP samples.

Finally, HPP appears to be a viable alternative to HoP for the treatment of human milk intended for premature babies. The findings show that HPP treatment of human milk produces healthy milk with less biochemically and immunologically active milk components than HoP treatment.