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Frozen breast milk tastes/smells sour

  1. #1
    LeahH is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong, Mid Levels

    Frozen breast milk tastes/smells sour


    I have a large store of frozen breast milk which my son will drink during the day when I return to work shortly. I've defrosted a few bags already and it is quite sour to the taste and smell. It's not off/bad, just unpleasant. I seem to remember this with my first child and wonder what I can do, if anything, to improve it.

    I know there is a excess of lipase issue that scalding before freezing will fix, it's just that mine is already frozen so I'm looking for a solution for the store that I have.

    He will drink it if he's extremely hungry, but I can tell it's not a happy experience and feel a bit sorry for him. Also, he'll take as much as he needs to take the edge of his hunger, not a full feed, and the rest will be wasted. I have tried mixing it into his solids but it tends to make that taste horrible also and I'd rather not put him off his veges and fruit!

    Is there anything I can do, or mix into it, to make it more palatable - would scalding the defrosted milk and leaving to cool work perhaps? I guess that would diminish some of the immunological benefits.

    Would be very grateful if anyone has any ideas.

  2. #2
    Madeleine is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Ma Wan, Hong Kong
    Hi Leah

    Yes, it is the excessive lipase that is making your thawed milk taste bad. Do you already know how to scald your milk?

    Sorry but there is nothing you can do about the milk you have already frozen - you should throw it away.

    Re. how to scald your milk, I got the below info from a La Leche League thread. If in doubt, please contact La Leche League Hong Kong - the leaders are wonderful. Good luck!


    'Scalding milk is the recommended solution for excessive lipase. The breastmilk is still chock full of immunities and nutrients for your baby, scalding is the safest way to reduce the lipase, which is making the milk taste unpleasant.

    Per the Breastfeeding Answer Book, page 229, "If the mother finds after freezing and thawing that her milk has a rancid smell, she can prevent this from occurring in the future by heating her expressed milk to a scald (bubbling around the edges but not boiling) right after collecting it, and then quickly cooling and freezing it. Scalding inactivates the lipase (Lawrence and Lawrence p. 696). Once the milk has acquired the rancid smell, however, treating the milk will not help. It is not known whether or not this milk is safe for the baby; however most babies refuse it.'
    Last edited by Madeleine; 09-21-2009 at 07:18 PM.

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