Objective: To validate Near-Infrared Reflectance Analysis (NIRA) as a fast, reliable and suitable method for routine evaluation of human milk's nitrogen and fat content.
Setting: One Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Patients: 124 samples of expressed human milk (55 from preterm mothers and 69 from term mothers).
Intervention: Measurement of nitrogen and fat content both by NIRA and traditional methods (Gerber method for fat and Kjeldhal method for nitrogen).
Main outcome measures: Agreement between NIRA's and traditional methods' results. Variability in fat and nitrogen human milk content.
Results: A strong agreement was found between traditional methods' and NIRA's results (expressed as g/100 g of milk), both for fat and nitrogen content in term (mean fat content: NIRA=2.76; Gerber=2.76; mean nitrogen content: NIRA=1.88; Kjeldhal =1.92) and preterm (mean fat content: NIRA=3.56; Kjeldhal=3.52; mean nitrogen content: NIRA=1.91; Kjeldhal =1.89) mother's milk. <BR>Nitrogen content of the milk samples, measured by NIRA, ranged from 1.18 to 2.71 g/100 g of milk in preterm milk and from 1.48 to 2.47 in term milk; fat content ranged from 1.27 to 6.23 g/100 g of milk in preterm milk and from 1.01 to 6.01 g/100 g of milk in term milk.
Conclusions: NIRA can be used as a fast, reliable and suitable tool for routine monitoring of macronutrient content of human milk and for individualized human milk fortification in the feeding of very premature infants.
- Human milk nitrogen and fat content
- Near-Infrared Reflectance Analysis
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
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