Effects of Different Thawing and Warming Processes on Human Milk Composition

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The composition of human milk is influenced by storage and processing practices. The effects of thawing and warming practices on human milk composition remain poorly studied despite their prevalence in home, research, and donor milk bank settings. This review comprehensively examines the impact of different thawing and warming methods on nutritional and bioactive human milk components. While some components such as carbohydrates and minerals remain stable under most typical thawing and warming conditions, others, such as fat, immune proteins, bacterial and human cells, and peptide amine hormones, are sensitive to warming. This review has identified that the data on the effects of milk thawing and warming is limited and often contradictory. Given that numerous important components of milk are diminished during cold storage, it is important that thawing and warming practices do not lead to further loss of or alterations to beneficial milk components. Further work in this field will facilitate greater standardization of thawing methods among researchers and underpin recommendations for thawing and warming of expressed milk for parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-324
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number2
Early online date1 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


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