Migration of Cyclohexanone and 3,3,5-trimethylcyclohexanone from a Neonatal Enteral Feeding System into Human Milk


Advocate Children's Hospital


OBJECTIVE: Estimate the migration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which have been identified by the EPA as a public health concern, from the enteral feeding system into human milk.

STUDY DESIGN: Unfortified human milk samples were infused through an enteral feeding system with varying duration of infusion, incubator temperature, and pre-infusion tube priming. Purge & Trap analysis and GC/MS were used to identify the VOC profile of milk pre- and post-infusion.

RESULT: Cyclohexanone and 3,3,5-trimethylcyclohexanone (3,3,5-TMC) accumulated significantly in milk samples post-infusion. Duration of infusion had a significant effect on VOC accumulation (p = 0.001). Accumulation patterns of cyclohexanone and 3,3,5-TMC differed significantly based on milk type (donor vs. mother's own milk).

CONCLUSIONS: VOCs, migrate from plastic-based feeding equipment into human milk. Based on these findings, limiting the duration of feeding infusion would reduce VOC exposure derived from enteral feeding in the neonatal intensive care unit.

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