Human Milk Banking Association of North America

Processing

         
  Technician scrubbing hands with anti-microbial soap  

Scrubbing

 
   

Each pasteurization team member thoroughly scrubs her hands with antimicrobial soap before putting on gloves; gloves are always used when handling milk as part of the pasteurization process.

 
         

         
      Donor milk poured into flask  
 

Pouring

   
 

Milk from a donor mother is carefully transferred from milk storage containers to glass flasks.

   
       
         

         
  Mixing milk from several donors  

Mixing & Pooling

 
   

Each Pool (which usually includes milk from 3 to 5 donors) is thoroughly mixed to ensure an even distribution of milk components.

 
         

         
      Filling 4 oz. jars with milk  
  Filling Bottles    
 

Four ounce glass bottles are filled with milk prior to pasteurization

 

   
       
         

         
  Milk in pasteurizing bath  

Pasteurizing with the Holder Method

 
   

Milk is gently heated in a shaking water bath using the Holder Method of pasteurization. Pasteurization eliminates bacteria while retaining the majority of the milk's beneficial components

 
         

         
      Technician viewing cultures for bacteria  
 

Lab Testing

   
 

Milk samples are taken during the pasteurization process and cultured to check for bacterial growth. Contaminated milk is discarded.

   
       
         

         
  Sealed jars of pastuerized milk  

Pasteurized Milk

 
   

Milk is now ready for freezing and storage. It can be dispensed after samples are cultured and show no bacteria growth.  Milk is shipped frozen overnight to hospitals and individual recipients at home.