Ultrasound Technology as a Method for Homogenizing Human Milk

Mercedes Gabriela Ratto Reiter, Lennon Fellipe Dias Nunes


Background: The lipid content of human milk is its most variable component and provides from 35 to
50% of the daily energy needs of newborns. Losses occur during the freezing and thawing processes
due to the coalescence of the fat globules and their adherence to bottle walls. Objectives: The objective
was to test two methods of homogenizing pasteurized human milk in human milk banks in order to
reduce the nutritional losses that occur between storage and feeding to newborns. Methods: Human
milk samples collected in duplicate were homogenized either by sonication (MIRIS, Sweden) or vortex
tube agitation. A total of 941 milk samples of different lactation stages from the human milk bank in
Blumenau (SC, Brazil) were analyzed. A human milk analyzer (MIRIS, Sweden) was used to determine
lipid content after homogenization. The statistical significance adopted in this study was α = 5%. Results:
A mean of 1.87 grams of lipids per deciliter (g/dL) was observed in vortex-homogenized milk, whereas
ultrasound homogenization yielded a mean of 2.07 g/dL, p < 0.01. The mean energy value of vortexhomogenized
milk was 33.36 Kcal/dL, compared to 35.81 Kcal/dL for ultrasound-homogenized milk, p <
0.01. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that there is energy loss when human milk is not properly
homogenized before being fed to newborns; better homogenization techniques decrease the adherence
of fat globules to the bottle walls.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22565/ijn.v10i3.304


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