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Baby Nutrition – Industry Views Sought on Baby Milk Ingredients

Posted Jan 28 2010 11:06am

By Colleen Hurley, RD, Certified Kid’s Nutrition Specialist

It is not just parents that feel baffled by infant formula ingredients these days.  From keeping harmful chemicals out to attempting the addition of nutrients shown in recent research to boost baby’s development, infant formula makers are finally seeking outside advice.  A recent report explains industry views are being sought on infant formula ingredients.

The feedback being solicited pertains to the new standards being proposed for inclusion in the Food Chemical Codex (FCC), aiming to ensure quality as well as enhance safety of key ingredients commonly used in infant formulas. 

 Published by the US Pharmacopeia Convention (USP), the FCC standards are internationally acknowledged voluntary industry standards.  These standards provide quality assurance for both the consumer and food manufacturers who purchase the ingredient for use in their products.  The proposed standards include 3 nucleotides present in breast milk as well as omega-3 fatty acids; all of which are now being added to many infant formulas.

formula The USP explains that new “functional foods” being added in addition to the concern over infant formula contamination warrants a stringent level of quality assurance.  The new standards will bolster consumer confidence that the product purchases will be free of contaminants, not diluted with water or tampered with using substituted or less expensive ingredients, and will be consistent from batch to batch.  To ensure these confidences, the FCC standards also include validated test methods providing repeatable means of measuring ingredients as well as corresponding reference materials.

Comments from the industry will be reviewed by the USP’s Food Ingredient Expert Committee, a group of scientific experts that oversee FCC standards and will publish final standards in August of this year.  Baby Milk Action, a group that promotes breastfeeding and making infant formula safer, explains that not enough has been done in the past to ensure the safety of infant formula.  Even the World Health Organization (WHO) weighed in by stating that while breastfeeding is the ideal way to provide a baby nutrients, it is also important to ensure an ample supply of safe infant formula to meet babies’ needs.

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