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Point-of-care human milk concentration by passive osmosis: comprehensive analysis of fresh human milk samples.

OBJECTIVE: Preterm infants need enrichment of human milk (HM) for optimal growth. This study evaluated a novel, point-of-care human milk concentration (HMC) process for water removal from fresh HM samples by passive osmotic concentration.

STUDY DESIGN: Nineteen fresh HM samples were concentrated by incubation with the HMC devices for 3 h at 4 °C. Pre- and post-concentration HM samples were compared by HM properties for: pH, osmolality, macronutrients, enzyme activity, bioactive, and total cell viability.

RESULTS: Passive osmotic concentration reduced HM volume by an average of 16.3% ± 3.8% without a significant effect on pH or cell viability. Ten of the 41 HM components did not differ significantly (p > 0.05) between pre- and post-concentration samples. Twenty-three increased within the expected range by volume reduction. Six increased more than expected, two less than expected, and none decreased significantly.

CONCLUSION: Passive osmotic concentration of fresh HM can concentrate HM components by selective removal of water. HM osmolality and pH remained within neonatal feeding parameters.

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