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Bacteriological, Biochemical, and Immunological Modifications in Human Colostrum After Holder Pasteurisation

Espinosa-Martos, I.*; Montilla, A.; Segura, A. Gómez de*; Escuder, D.; Bustos, G.; Pallás, C.; Rodríguez, J.M.*; Corzo, N.; Fernández, L.*

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: May 2013 - Volume 56 - Issue 5 - p 560–568
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e31828393ed
Original Articles: Hepatology and Nutrition

Objective: The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of Holder pasteurisation of human colostrum on a variety of microbiological, biochemical, and immunological parameters.

Methods: Colostrum samples from 10 donors, and 8 samples of mature milk used as controls, were heated at 62.5°C for 30 minutes. Bacterial counts and the concentration of furosine, lactose, myoinositol, glucose, lactulose, cytokines, and immunoglobulins were determined before and after the heat treatment.

Results: Mean bacterial counts in nonpasteurised colostrum samples oscillated between 2.72 and 4.13 log10 colony-forming units per millilitre in the agar media tested. Holder pasteurisation led to the destruction of the bacteria originally present in the samples. Furosine was detected in all samples before pasteurisation and increased significantly after the heat treatment (from 6.60 to 20.59 mg/100 g protein). Lactulose content was below the detection limit in nonpasteurised colostrum, but it was detected in all samples and quantified in 7 of them (from 10.68 to 38.02 mg/L) after Holder pasteurisation. Lactose, glucose, and myoinositol concentrations did not change after Holder pasteurisation. The concentrations of most cytokines and immunoglobulins were significantly higher in colostrum than in mature milk samples. Immunoglobulin content, both in colostrum and in milk samples, was reduced during pasteurisation, whereas, among cytokines, only macrophage inflammatory protein-1β, interleukin-7, and granulocyte-macrophage-colony-stimulating factor concentrations were affected by this heat treatment.

Conclusions: Lactulose and furosine content could be used as heat treatment indicators in colostrum samples. Holder pasteurisation modified the immunological profile of both colostrum and mature milk.

*Departamento de Nutrición, Bromatología y Tecnología de los Alimentos. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias de la Alimentación (CIAL), CEI (CSIC+UAM), Madrid, Spain

Servicio de Neonatología. Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Leónides Fernández, Dpto. Nutrición, Bromatología y Tecnología de los Alimentos. Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avda. Puerta de Hierro s/n 28040 Madrid, Spain (e-mail:

Received 4 October, 2012

Accepted 15 December, 2012

This work was supported by the CYTED (IBERFUN 110AC0386), CSD2007-00063 (FUN-C-FOOD, Consolider-Ingenio 2010), and AGL2010-15420 projects from the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Spain), by projects FIS PS09/00040 (Instituto de Salud Carlos III) and S2009/AGR-1469 (Comunidad de Madrid, Spain), and by Red SAMID.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,