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Open AccessArticle

A Rapid Chemiluminescence Assay for Measurement of Folate in Small Volumes of Breast Milk

Nestlé Research, Société des Produits Nestlé, 1000 Lausanne, Switzerland
Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, University of Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Hospital for Children and Adolescents and Center of Pediatric Research, University of Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2019, 24(15), 2730;
Received: 4 July 2019 / Revised: 24 July 2019 / Accepted: 26 July 2019 / Published: 27 July 2019
Early life exposure to folate has long lasting effects on development and health. Newborns obtain part of their folate from maternal milk. Studies on health effects of milk folate require rapid, affordable and reliable measurements in large numbers of samples from cohort studies. Recently, a competitive chemiluminescence assay for quantification of folate has become available for automated diagnostic measurement of folate in human serum or plasma. We tested if this method (“FOLA” from Siemens Healthcare) could also be used for human milk. To minimize interference and matrix effects, samples had to be skimmed, diluted seven times with demineralized water, and heated for 5 min at 90 °C. Folate could thus be measured in a linear range between 8.4 and 111.7 nM, with recoveries for the most relevant form, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MeTHF), of 96%–107%. Results were comparable to those with a recently validated Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry method (Y = 0.998X − 0.2; R2 = 0.807). The FOLA method was subsequently used for samples from the LIFE Child cohort in Germany, providing first data of breast milk folate in this country (range: 6.2–100.7 nM). This technique could indeed prove useful for large cohorts with multiple samplings. View Full-Text
Keywords: chemiluminescence; folate; breast milk chemiluminescence; folate; breast milk
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Guignard, L.; Nembrini, C.; Moulin, J.; Meisser, K.; Silva-Zolezzi, I.; Kratzsch, J.; Vogel, M.; Kiess, W.; Eckhardt, E. A Rapid Chemiluminescence Assay for Measurement of Folate in Small Volumes of Breast Milk. Molecules 2019, 24, 2730.

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