Influence of the heat treatment of human milk on some of its protective constituents

J Pediatr. 1977 Jan;90(1):29-35. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(77)80759-2.


Human milk was subjected to heat treatments of graded severity and examined for its content of immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, lysozyme, vitamin B12-and folate-binder proteins, and lactoperoxidase. Holder pasteurization (62.5degrees C 30 minutes) reduced the IgA titer by 20%, and destroyed the small content of IgM and most of the lactoferrin. Lysozyme was stable to this treatment, but with an increase in temperature there was progressive destruction, to near 100% at 100degrees C. The same was broadly true of the capacity of milk to bind folic acid and potect it against bacterial uptake; with vitamin B12 the binder was more labile at 75degrees C than at 100degrees C. The milk contained no detectable lactoperoxidase.

MeSH terms

  • Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Folic Acid / metabolism
  • Food Preservation
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Immunoglobulins / analysis
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Lactoferrin
  • Milk Proteins / analysis
  • Milk, Human* / analysis
  • Milk, Human* / metabolism
  • Milk, Human* / microbiology
  • Muramidase
  • Vitamin B 12 / metabolism


  • Immunoglobulins
  • Milk Proteins
  • Folic Acid
  • Iron
  • Muramidase
  • Lactoferrin
  • Vitamin B 12