Accuracy and reliability of infrared analyzers for measuring human milk macronutrients in a milk bank setting

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Maryanne T. Perrin, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Background: Infrared (IR) analysis is an emerging technology that may be a useful tool for milk banks to manage the nutrient variability in donor human milk. Objective: To evaluate the accuracy, reliability, and comparability of commercial infrared analyzers for measuring human milk macronutrients in a milk bank setting. Methods: Three nonprofit milk banks received blinded test kits of human milk that had been assessed using reference methods. Four infrared instruments were used to measure macronutrients as follows: 1 filtered mid-IR, 2 Fourier-transformed full-spectra mid-IR, and 1 near-IR. Twenty-five unique samples were read concurrently for the accuracy arm. An identical sample was read daily for 1 mo for the reliability arm. Results: Values for R2 describing relationships with reference methods for total fat, crude protein, and lactose, were as follows: filtered mid-IR, 0.98, 0.94, and 0.48; Fourier-transformed full-spectra mid-IR, 0.97, 0.93, and 0.36 for instrument 1 and 0.98, 0.98, and 0.31 for instrument 2; and near-IR 0.93, 0.93, and 0.12. There was no significant difference between instruments for crude protein and total fat measurements. There were significant differences in carbohydrate measurements between instruments. For 1 mo of daily measurements in the reliability arm, CVs for filtered mid-IR were =4.6%, for Fourier-transformed full spectra mid-IR were =1.7%, and for near-IR were =5.1%. Conclusions: Infrared analysis is an accurate and reliable method for measuring crude protein and total fat in a milk bank setting. Carbohydrate measurements are less accurate and are significantly different between instruments, which will likely lead to differences in derived calorie values.

Additional Information

Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 3, Issue 11, November 2019, nzz116,
Language: English
Date: 2019
human milk, infrared, donor milk, milk bank, macronutrients

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