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Hot Topics in Neonatology 2022 Conference will include symposium on benefits of vat pasteurization for human donor milk

Dr. David Dallas of Oregon State University will present published data showing that vat pasteurization preserves more of human milk’s bioactive proteins than ultra-high-temperature and retort sterilization

DUARTE, Calif., Dec. 5, 2022 – Prolacta Bioscience®, the world’s leading hospital provider of 100% human milk-based nutritional products for critically ill, premature infants, announced today that Dr. David Dallas, PhD, of Oregon State University will present published data on the effects of various manufacturing methods on bioactive proteins in donor human milk at the Hot Topics in Neonatology® 2022 conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 12:15 p.m.

Sponsored by Nemours Children’s Health, Hot Topics in Neonatology has been the premiere neonatal conference for more than 30 years, drawing more than 1,000 neonatologists and perinatologists from around the world.

Dr. Dallas’ presentation will summarize data published in September in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Nutrition. The paper,Structural and Functional Changes of Bioactive Proteins in Donor Human Milk Treated by Vat-Pasteurization, Retort Sterilization, Ultra-High-Temperature Sterilization, Freeze-Thawing and Homogenization,” includes findings that show vat pasteurization preserves more of human milk’s bioactive proteins than ultra-high-temperature (UHT) or retort sterilization.1

“Our findings provide information to supply infants with donor milk that better matches mother’s milk in supporting their growth and development,” Dr. Dallas said.

“Dr. Dallas’ work reinforces that how human milk is processed matters. It also reinforces Prolacta’s commitment to the vat pasteurization process to preserve as much of the natural bioactivity of the milk as possible,” said Melinda Elliott, chief medical officer of Prolacta and a practicing neonatologist. “We invite the community to attend the symposium to learn more about how processing techniques affect bioactivity.”

About Human Milk-Based Nutritional Products

The major difference between cow milk-based and human milk-based nutritional products is the composition — notably, the bioactive components that are unique to human milk. These include immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, milk fat globule membrane, and the wide spectrum of prebiotics known as human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), which are not easily manufactured and thus are greatly decreased or missing from cow milk-based nutritional products.2 Bioactivity is thought to support infants’ immunity, development, growth, and long-term health.3

Prolacta’s 100% human milk-based nutritional products have the highest bioactivity in the human milk industry.1 Prolacta’s nutritional products are vat pasteurized using profiles defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure pathogen inactivation and the highest level of safety while retaining as much of the natural bioactivity of the milk as possible.4 Prolacta’s vat pasteurized products retain higher bioactivity than products processed using other methods, including retort sterilization and UHT processing.1,5,6

About Prolacta Bioscience

Prolacta Bioscience® Inc. is a privately held, global life sciences company dedicated to Advancing the Science of Human Milk® to improve the health of critically ill, premature infants. Prolacta’s 100% human milk-based nutritional products have been evaluated in more than 20 clinical studies published in peer-reviewed journals. More than 80,000 premature infants have benefited from Prolacta’s nutritional products worldwide to date.7 Established in 1999, Prolacta is the world’s leading provider of human milk-based nutritional products for hospital use and is also exploring the therapeutic potential of human milk across a wide spectrum of diseases. Prolacta maintains the industry’s strictest quality and safety standards for screening, testing, and processing donor human milk. Operating the world’s first pharmaceutical-grade human milk processing facilities, Prolacta uses vat pasteurization and a patented, FDA-reviewed manufacturing process to ensure pathogen inactivation while protecting the nutritional composition and bioactivity of its human milk-based products. Prolacta is a global company with headquarters in Duarte, California, and can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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Media Contact:
Loren Kosmont


  1. Liang N, Koh J, Kim BJ, et al. Structural and functional changes of bioactive proteins in donor human milk treated by vat-pasteurization, retort sterilization, ultra-high-temperature sterilization, freeze-thawing and homogenization. Front Nutr. Published online September 15, 2022. doi:10.3389/fnut.2022.926814
  2. Ballard O, Morrow AL. Human milk composition: nutrients and bioactive factors. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013 Feb;60(1):49-74. doi:10.1016/j.pcl.2012.10.002. PMID: 23178060; PMCID: PMC3586783.
  3. Gila-Diaz A, Arribas SM, Algara A, Martín-Cabrejas MA, López de Pablo ÁL, Sáenz de Pipaón M, Ramiro-Cortijo D. A review of bioactive factors in human breastmilk: a focus on prematurity. Nutrients. 2019;11(6):1307. doi:10.3390/nu11061307
  4. Data on file.
  5. Meredith-Dennis L, Xu G, Goonatilleke E, Lebrilla CB, Underwood MA, Smilowitz JT. Composition and variation of macronutrients, immune proteins, and human milk oligosaccharides in human milk from nonprofit and commercial milk banks. J Hum Lact. 2018;34(1):120-129. doi:10.1177/0890334417710635
  6. Lima HK, Wagner-Gillespie M, Perrin MT, Fogleman AD. Bacteria and bioactivity in Holder pasteurized and shelf-stable human milk products. Curr Dev Nutr. 2017;1(8):e001438. doi:10.3945/cdn.117.001438
  7. Data on file; Estimated number of premature infants fed Prolacta’s products from January 2007 to December 2021.