European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 154, Issue 4, pp 316–319 | Cite as

The fatty acid composition of banked human milk and infant formulas: The choices of milk for feeding preterm infants

  • Päivi Luukkainen
  • Matti K. Salo
  • Tapio Nikkari
Nutrition Original Paper


The fatty acid composition of 48 samples of banked human milk for preterm infants and four standard infants formulas available in Finland were analysed by capillary gas liquid chromatography. The banked milk was collected from mothers who had given birth 0–8 weeks previously. Saturated fatty acids accounted for approximately 50% of the fatty acids in both human milk and the formulas, while the relative content of monoenoic fatty acids tended to be higher in human milk than in the formulas. The relative content of 18∶2n−6 was higher in the formulas (range 14.7%–23.2%) than in human milk (median 9.1%, range 6.3%–13.4%). Fat of banked human milk contained 0.9% and 0.7% polyunsaturated fatty acids with 20 and 22 carbon atoms (LCP), respectively, which is comparable to that of fresh mature human milk. In contrast, LCP could not be detected in any of the formulas. Conclusion: Banked human milk is a good source of LCP and offers a good alternative to LCP containing formulas.

Key words

Human milk Fatty acid Docosahexaenoic acid Arachidonic acid 



long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Päivi Luukkainen
    • 1
  • Matti K. Salo
    • 2
  • Tapio Nikkari
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical MedicineUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity Hospital of TampereFinland
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of TampereFinland

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