Kerala

Human milk-based milk fortifier for preterm babies

The Postgraduate and Research Department of Chemistry of Bishop Moore College, Mavelikara, in collaboration with the Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Thiruvalla, will develop human milk-based human milk fortifier for preterm infants.

In a statement issued here recently, the college authorities said that the project funded by the Union Department of Biotechnology had received the necessary approvals. The Centre had sanctioned ₹50 lakh for the project.

Officials claimed that this would be India’s first human milk-based human milk fortifier.

Neonatal mortality

The fortifier will play a vital role in reducing neonatal mortality, which remains significantly high in India. “Breastfeeding plays a very important role in reducing neonatal mortality. However, there are many challenges associated with breastfeeding preterm infants, including inadequate milk supply of the mother, high variability and limitations of the nutrient content of the milk itself and so on. Human milk fortifiers are recommended to optimise the nutritional composition of maternal milk,” says Tressia Alias Princy Paulose, assistant professor, Postgraduate and Research Department of Chemistry, Bishop Moore College, Mavelikara.

Ms. Paulose notes that most commercially available human milk fortifiers are based on bovine milk, which has a composition different from that of human milk. Moreover, cow milk protein intake in the first months of life has raised concerns because of its association with allergies and intestinal inflammation in premature babies.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 7:18:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/human-milk-based-milk-fortifier-for-preterm-babies/article34312178.ece

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