The Low Down on Lipase

by nida choudary

What is Lipase?

There are two different types of lipase found in human milk. These lipases are enzymes necessary for digestion and breaking down fat. Although present in all breast-milk and essential for your baby's health, some budding picky eaters find the flavor of lipase-abundant milk offensive and refuse to drink it. This has resulted in contradictory recommendations regarding the correct concentration of lipase.

What not to do

One commonly practiced solution is to scald the breast-milk in an attempt to inactivate some of the lipase but I strongly advise against this!

Unfortunately, heating human milk to high temperatures will destroy vital components such as white blood cells and significantly alter proteins which lessens the effectiveness of the milk in providing nutrition for your child.

Tips for improving the taste of milk

Instead, carefully follow these handling guidelines to avoid foul-tasting milk:

  • After pumping fresh milk, place the milk in the fridge before freezing it, because a slow cooling rate helps keep protein intact and preserves the number of white blood cells.
  • To defrost milk, let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours before gently warming using a bottle warmer. Milk should never be boiled or microwaved.

For women who have babies refusing their foul-tasting milk, here are a few extra recommendations.

  • Mix your stored milk with freshly expressed milk 
  • Blend stored milk in with solid foods once they are introduced. There is no need to waste milk because of perceived bad taste.

Being more meticulous with how you store and prepare milk for feeding can greatly affect the concentration of lipase in milk and its overall taste.


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