Food safety and quality of distribution of raw human milk from a University Hospital

ABSTRACT Objective To evaluate the quality of raw human milk distributed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of a University Hospital of the city of São Paulo. Methods A cross-sectional study with raw human milk samples from mothers who attended the Human Milk Collection Station of a University Hospital, analyzed between May 2016 and January 2017, excluding mothers of twins. The quality of the raw human milk was assessed by verifying the presence of dirt, the coloration of the milk, the titratable acidity using the Dornic method, and through its energy content. Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests were used for the analysis of the energy profile and the degree of Dornic acidity, according to the stage of the raw human milk and the gestational age of the child. Results The study was composed of 40 samples of 40 different women, with a mean age of 27 years, an average of 11.8 years of education, most of them were multiparous and with a partner. Regarding milk analysis, 55.0% was classified as colostrum, 27.5% as mature milk and 17.5% as transitional milk. All samples presented negative results for dirt and normal coloration. The mean milk acidity was 3.24º Dornic and most of the samples were classified as hypercaloric energy content. There was no association between the lactation stage and gestational age with the acidity value and energy content. Conclusion The quality of raw human milk distributed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the institution evaluated was considered adequate and the samples analyzed had a high energy content and excellent Dornic acidity.