Nutrition Reviews publishes new research supplement on human milk banks

March 9, 2023

ILSI Global press contact:
Katherine Broendel
+1 (202) 659-0074 Ext. 175

ILSI’s Nutrition Reviews journal publishes new research supplement on human milk donation and banking

WASHINGTON—The International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) has announced the publication of a new, comprehensive research supplement covering the various aspects of establishing human milk banks with an emphasis on safety and quality control. This open access Nutrition Reviews article provides recommendations to standardize the organization, management and procedures for human milk donation and banking.

The new supplement offers real-world, evidence-based guidance on establishing human milk banks. Some considerations for milk banks include:

  • Donor selection and exclusion criteria. For example, some maternal diseases may need to be taken into account.
  • The collection, transportation and storage of human milk. This requires safe handling practices and proper storage methods both in homes and at milk banks.
  • Procedures for managing human milk at the milk bank, including screening, quality control, pasteurization methods, refrigeration, storage, thawing and distribution.

In Europe, there is an increasing number of human milk banks that collect donor milk to feed to pre-term infants when human milk is not available. Italy, where the lead author, Dr. Guido E. Moro, MD, represents the Italian Association of Human Milk Banks, has the most human milk banks in Europe. The newly published article makes recommendations based on clear, scientific consensus, as well as the expertise from Italian human milk bank operations.

Published by Nutrition Reviews, an independent, peer-reviewed journal owned by ILSI and published in partnership with Oxford University Press, this supplement describes the complex processes for human milk donation, storage and distribution to help those in need while providing practical guidance, robust safety practices and quality control standards.

"For more than 80 years, Nutrition Reviews has been publishing authoritative literature reviews on current and emerging topics in the nutrition sciences. I'm proud to say that this supplement continues Nutrition Reviews' tradition of publishing quality research on a timely subject," said Stéphane Vidry, PhD, ILSI’s global executive director. "This research supplement on human milk banks is incredibly important to expand support for the health, growth and development of young children around the world."

ILSI Global

Over the years, Nutrition Reviews has published numerous articles on the nutritional aspects of human milk, its composition, as well as its impact on the gut microbiome and other important topics. Free and open access articles on human milk are available from Nutrition Reviews.


With 10 entities around the world, ILSI is a global non-profit organization whose mission is to provide science that improves health and well-being while safeguarding the environment. For the past 45 years, ILSI has encouraged multidisciplinary, multisectoral research and international cooperation to best address complex science and health issues. ILSI is committed to achieving and maintaining the highest standards of scientific integrity and owns the independent, peer-reviewed journal Nutrition Reviews. Learn more at