With very few exceptions, the majority of countries have guidelines for donor human milk to be pasteurized before it is fed to infants.
- Pasteurization is necessary to kill bacteria, viruses (HIV) & other harmful pathogens,
- Still protecting as many proteins, antibodies, and vitamins as possible.
- Holder pasteurization heats milk to 62.5°C for 30 minutes.
- Flash-heat pasteurization heats milk to 72.0°C for 15 seconds
Commercial pasteurizers use the Holder method of pasteurization, which heats the milk to 62° C and holds this temperature for 30 minutes. Research has shown that pasteurization destroys potentially harmful bacteria and viruses (including HIV) and ensures a safe end product. Although some of the good bacteria are also destroyed, many of the immune properties are minimally decreased and most of the nutrients are unaffected by the pasteurization process.
Flash Pasteurization is a high temperature short time (HTST) pasteurization method used for heat treating donor milk. One type of HTST is flash heating, which imitates flash pasteurization but can only do small quantities at a time. It brings the donor milk up to 72° C for approximately15 seconds. This rapid heating for a short time is less destructive of properties in breastmilk and so is considered to be superior to other forms of pasteurization. A simulated flash heating method is used by Pi-Astra during the pasteurization process.Research work done testing the effect of PiAstra monitoring on properties and microbes: Pasteurization
Daniels B, Reimers P, King T, Schmidt S, Coutsoudis A. Effect of the PiAstra Benchtop Flash-Heating Pasteurizer on Immune Factors of Donor Human Milk. Breastfeed Med. 2018 May;13(4):281-285. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2018.0017. Epub 2018 Mar 22. PMID: 29565633.