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Global Standard for the Composition of Infant Formula: Recommendations of an ESPGHAN Coordinated International Expert Group

  • Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil

Abstract and Figures

The Codex Alimentarius Commission of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) develops food standards, guidelines and related texts for protecting consumer health and ensuring fair trade practices globally. The major part of the world's population lives in more than 160 countries that are members of the Codex Alimentarius. The Codex Standard on Infant Formula was adopted in 1981 based on scientific knowledge available in the 1970s and is currently being revised. As part of this process, the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses asked the ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition to initiate a consultation process with the international scientific community to provide a proposal on nutrient levels in infant formulae, based on scientific analysis and taking into account existing scientific reports on the subject. ESPGHAN accepted the request and, in collaboration with its sister societies in the Federation of International Societies on Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, invited highly qualified experts in the area of infant nutrition to form an International Expert Group (IEG) to review the issues raised. The group arrived at recommendations on the compositional requirements for a global infant formula standard which are reported here.
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Medical Position Paper
Global Standard for the Composition of Infant Formula:
Recommendations of an ESPGHAN Coordinated
International Expert Group
*Berthold Koletzko,
†Susan Baker, ‡Geoff Cleghorn, §Ulysses Fagundes Neto, kSarath Gopalan,
{Olle Hernell, #Quak Seng Hock, **Pipop Jirapinyo, ††Bo Lonnerdal, ‡‡Paul Pencharz,
§§Hildegard Pzyrembel,
kkJaime Ramirez-Mayans, {{Raanan Shamir, ##Dominique Turck,
***Yuichiro Yamashiro, and †††Ding Zong-Yi
*Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital, University of Munich, Germany; †Department of Pediatrics, Univ. of Buffalo, NY, USA;
‡Department of Pediatric s and Child Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; §Department of Pediatrics, Escola
Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de Sa
˜o Paulo, Brazil; kCentre for Research on Nutrition Support Systems, New Delhi,
India; ¶Department of Clinical Sciences, Pediatrics, Umea
˚University, Umea
˚, Sweden; #Department of Pediatrics, National
University of Singapore, Singapore; ** Dept. of Pediatrics, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; ††Departments of Nutrition and
Internal Medicine, University of California, Davis, USA; ‡‡Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition; The Hospital for Sick
Children, Toronto, Canada; §§Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Berlin Germany; kkDivision of Gastroenterology and Nutrition,
Instituto Nacional de Pediatria, Mexico DF, Mexico; ¶¶Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Meyer Children’s
Hospital, Haifa, Israel; ##Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Children’s Hospital, University of Lille, France;
***Department of Pediatrics, Juntendo University, Tokyo, Japan; and †††Beijing Children’s Hospital, Beijing, China
Chair of the International Expert Group;
Observer as Chair of the Electronic Work Group on Infant Formula Composition of the
Codex Alimentarius Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU)
The Codex Alimentarius Commission of the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the
World Health Organization (WHO) develops food standards,
guidelines and related texts for protecting consumer health and
ensuring fair trade practices globally. The major part of the
world’s population lives in more than 160 countries that are
members of the Codex Alimentarius. The Codex Standard on
Infant Formula was adopted in 1981 based on scientific knowl-
edge available in the 1970s and is currently being revised. As
part of this process, the Codex Committee on Nutrition and
Foods for Special Dietary Uses asked the ESPGHAN Com-
mittee on Nutrition to initiate a consultation process with the
international scientific community to provide a proposal on
nutrient levels in infant formulae, based on scientific analysis
and taking into account existing scientific reports on the
subject. ESPGHAN accepted the request and, in collaboration
with its sister societies in the Federation of International
Societies on Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutri-
tion, invited highly qualified experts in the area of infant
nutrition to form an International Expert Group (IEG) to review
the issues raised. The group arrived at recommendations on the
compositional requirements for a global infant formula stan-
dard which are reported here. JPGN 41:584–599, 2005. Key
Words: Bottle feeding—Food standards—Infant food—Infant
formula—Infant nutrition—Nutritional requirements. Ó2005
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
The Codex Alimentarius Commission was created
in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of
the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Orga-
nization (WHO) to develop food standards, guidelines
Received July 12, 2005; accepted July 12, 2005.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Berthold Koletzko,
M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital,
Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Lindwurmstr. 4, D-80337
¨nchen, Germany (e-mail:
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
41:584–599 ÓNovember 2005 ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition
the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Program (www. The main purposes of this pro-
gram are protecting the health of consumers and ensuring
fair trade practices in the food trade, and promoting
coordination of all food standards work undertaken by
international governmental and nongovernmental organ-
izations. The major part of the world’s population lives in
more than 160 countries that are members of the Codex
Alimentarius. The Codex Alimentarius has developed a
large number of standards in the area of food quality and
safety, which are of paramount importance for the pro-
tection of public health and fair trade on all continents.
Codex Standard 72 on Infant Formula (1) was adopted
in 1981 and is based on scientific knowledge as avail-
able in the 1970s. In view of the progress in the scien-
tific understanding of nutritional needs of infants and
in the methods of formula production, the Codex Com-
mittee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses
(CCNFSDU) agreed to develop a revision of this stan-
dard with a part A defining the requirements of infant
formulae (intended to meet the normal nutritional re-
quirements of infants) and a part B defining the require-
ments of foods for special medical purposes for infants
(FSMP; intended for infant patients with special dietary
needs due to diseases). An Electronic Working Group
(EWG) was charged to seek agreement on the essen-
tial composition of infant formula, but due to time
constraints and other factors could not finish its task.
Therefore, CCNFSDU decided in November 2004
to request additional advice from an international group
of scientific experts in the area of infant nutrition.
CCNFSDU asked the Committee on Nutrition of
ESPGHAN (The European Society for Pediatric Gastro-
enterology, Hepatology and Nutrition), which is a mem-
ber of the EWG, to coordinate this exercise. ESPGHAN
was asked to initiate a consultation process with the in-
ternational scientific community to provide proposals
on nutrient levels in infant formulae, based on scientific
analysis and taking into account existing scientific re-
ports on the subject. It was requested that the scientific
advice for possible solutions should be provided in a
clearly stated, transparent and comprehensible manner.
This paper is expected by CCNFSDU to facilitate the
process of decision taking at the following 27th session
of this Codex Committee in November 2005.
ESPGHAN accepted the request and, in collabora-
tion with its sister societies in the global Federation
of International Societies on Pediatric Gastroenterology,
Hepatology and Nutrition (FISPGHAN), invited highly
qualified experts in the area of infant nutrition to form an
International Expert Group (IEG) to review the issues
raised. Criteria for participation in the IEG included
expertise in pediatric nutrition research and active con-
tributions to international scientific societies or advisory
bodies dealing with pediatric nutrition issues. In order to
ensure that experts were in a position to provide objec-
tive and disinterested scientific advice, all participating
experts submitted a written declaration of personal and
nonpersonal (institutional) interests. These were re-
viewed and approved both by the chair of the IEG (BK)
and the chair of the CCNFSDU EWG (HP) as a pre-
requisite for accepting the participation of the respective
The IEG members were provided with background
material, including a summary of the status of the
CCNFSDU draft standard on infant formula provided
by the EWG chair in January 2005. The IEG members
reviewed the proposals taking into account the available
scientific evidence, including the recent reviews per-
formed by the Life Science Research Office (LSRO) of
the American Societies of Nutritional Sciences (2) and
the Scientific Committee on Food of the European
Commission (SCF) (3). IEG members submitted written
comments, and a meeting was held from 26–29 April
2005 at Tutzing (near Munich), Germany to thoroughly
discuss all issues. At this meeting, unanimous agreement
was reached on each compositional recommendation
made in this report. However, after the meeting one IEG
member raised concerns with respect to the recommen-
ded minimum iron level, because of a recommendation
for a higher minimum iron level by the national academy
of pediatrics in the member’s country, and withdrew the
support for this value. All other IEG members main-
tained their decision in favor of this recommendation.
This final report was written, circulated to all IEG mem-
bers, approved and submitted to the CCNFSDU and its
EWG in June 2005.
The IEG discussed some general considerations as
the basis of its deliberations. The IEG recognizes the
multiple benefits of breast feeding for child health (4)
and strongly supports breast feeding as the ideal form of
infant feeding which should be actively promoted, pro-
tected and supported. Infant formulae are intended to
serve as a substitute for breast milk in infants who cannot
be fed at the breast, or should not receive breast milk, or
for whom breast milk is not available (5). The composi-
tion of infant formulae should serve to meet the particular
nutritional requirements and to promote normal growth
and development of the infants for whom they are
Data on the composition of human milk of healthy,
well-nourished women can provide some guidance for
the composition of infant formulae, but gross composi-
tional similarity is not an adequate determinant or indi-
cator of the safety and nutritional adequacy of infant
formulae. Human milk composition shows remarkable
variation. Moreover, there are considerable differences in
the bioavailability and metabolic effects of similar con-
tents of many specific nutrients in human milk and formula,
respectively. Therefore, the adequacy of infant formula
composition should be determined by a comparison of
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, Vol. 41, No. 5, November 2005
its effects on physiological (e.g. growth patterns), bio-
chemical (e.g. plasma markers) and functional (e.g.
immune responses) outcomes in infants fed formulae
with those found in populations of healthy, exclusively
breast-fed infants.
The IEG concludes that infant formulae should only
contain components in such amounts that serve a nutri-
tional purpose or provide another benefit. The inclusion
of unnecessary components, or unnecessary amounts of
components, may put a burden on metabolic and other
physiologic functions of the infant. Those components
taken in the diet, which are not utilized or stored by the
body, have to be excreted, often as solutes in the urine.
Since water available to form urine is limited and the
infant’s ability to concentrate urine is not fully developed
during the first months of life, the need to excrete any
additional solutes will reduce the margin of safety, espe-
cially under conditions of stress, such as fever, diarrhea
or during weight loss.
Minimum and maximum values of nutrient contents in
infant formulae are suggested with the goal to provide
safe and nutritionally adequate infant formula products
that meet the nutritional requirements of healthy babies.
The IEG considered that such minimum and maximum
values should be based, where available, on adequate
scientific data on infant requirements and the absence of
adverse effects. In the absence of an adequate scientific
evaluation, minimum and maximum values should at
least be based on an established history of apparently
safe use. The establishment of minimum and maximum
values also should take into account, where possible,
other factors such as bioavailability and losses during
processing and shelf life. Minimum and maximum values
refer to total nutrient contents of infant formulae as pre-
pared ready for consumption according to the instruc-
tions of the manufacturer.
While the IEG bases its conclusions on a considered
review of the evidence available at this time, it rec-
ognizes that future scientific progress will necessitate
revisiting and updating the compositional standards for
infant formulae. The IEG considers it an obligation for
Codex Alimentarius to review, on a regular basis, the
adequacy of its compositional standards for infant foods.
The IEG recommends that the addition of new in-
gredients to infant formulae, or of established ingredients
in newly determined amounts beyond the existing stan-
dards on formula composition, should be made possible
if the safety, benefits and suitability for nutritional use by
infants have been established by generally accepted
scientific data. Given the accumulating evidence that the
composition of the diet of infants has a major impact on
short and long term child health and development, the
IEG finds it imperative that the scientific evidence to sup-
port modifications of infant formulae beyond the estab-
lished standards must always be overseen and evaluated
by independent scientific bodies before the acceptance
of the introduction of such products to the market.
Infant formula is a product based on milk of cows or
other animals and/or other ingredients which have been
proven to be suitable for infant feeding. The nutritional
safety and adequacy of infant formula should be scien-
tifically demonstrated to support normal growth and
development of infants.
Infant formula prepared ready for consumption in
accordance with instructions of the manufacturer shall
contain per 100 ml not less than 60 kcal (250 kJ) and not
more than 70 kcal (295 kJ) of energy, and it shall contain
per 100 kcal the nutrients, with minimum and maximum
levels where applicable, as listed in Table 1.
In addition to the compositional requirements listed in
Table 1, other ingredients may be added to ensure that the
formulation is suitable as the sole source of nutrition for
the infant, or to provide other benefits that are similar to
outcomes of populations of breastfed babies (Table 2).
The IEG takes the view that the mere presence of a sub-
stance in human milk by itself does not justify its addi-
tion to formula, but that a benefit of the addition should
be shown.
The suitability for the particular nutritional uses of
infants and the safety of additional compounds added
at the chosen levels shall be scientifically demonstrated.
The formula shall contain sufficient amounts of these
substances that have been demonstrated to achieve the
intended effect. The IEG concludes that only limited
orientation can be deducted from levels of components in
human milk in view of possible differences in bioavail-
ability and the fact that substances other than compo-
nents found in human milk may need to be used to
achieve the desired effects in infants.
The available scientific information on infant nutrient
needs and evaluation of infant formula composition
has recently been reviewed (2,3). Therefore, no attempt
is made to review here the totality of the available infor-
mation; rather, our comments focus on issues where
different views have arisen in the past.
Proteins from the milk of animals other than cows or
from various plant sources are considered potentially
suitable for use in infant formulae. However, the suit-
ability and safety should be adequately evaluated and
documented for each protein source to be used. At this
time the IEG does not recommend to refer to specific
animal protein sources other than cows’ milk in the
text of the standard. As of today, most of the evidence
published in the international literature that includes
conclusive studies in human infants is limited to the
evaluation of cows’ milk or soy protein based infant
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, Vol. 41, No. 5, November 2005
TABLE 1. Proposed compositional requirements of infant formula
Component Unit Minimum Maximum
Energy kcal/100 ml 60 70
Cows’ milk protein g/100 kcal 1.8* 3
Soy protein isolates g/100 kcal 2.25 3
Hydrolyzed cows’ milk protein g/100 kcal 1.8† 3
Total fat g/100 kcal 4.4 6.0
Linoleic acid g/100 kcal 0.3 1.2
a-linolenic acid mg/100 kcal 50 NS
Ratio linoleic/a-linolenic acids 5:1 15:1
Lauric + myristic acids % of fat NS 20
Trans fatty acids % of fat NS 3
Erucic acid % of fat NS 1
Total carbohydrates‡ g/100 kcal 9.0 14.0
Vitamin A mg RE/100 kcal§ 60 180
Vitamin D
mg/100 kcal 1 2.5
Vitamin E mg a-TE/100 kcal
Vitamin K mg/100 kcal 4 25
Thiamin mg/100 kcal 60 300
Riboflavin mg/100 kcal 80 400
Niacin# mg/100 kcal 300 1500
Vitamin B
mg/100 kcal 35 175
Vitamin B
mg/100 kcal 0.1 0.5
Pantothenic acid mg/100 kcal 400 2000
Folic acid mg/100 kcal 10 50
Vitamin C mg/100 kcal 8 30
Biotin mg/100 kcal 1.5 7.5
Minerals and trace elements
Iron (formula based on cows’ milk protein and protein hydrolysate) mg/100 kcal 0.3** 1.3
Iron (formula based on soy protein isolate) mg/100 kcal 0.45 2.0
Calcium mg/100 kcal 50 140
Phosphorus (formula based on cows’ milk protein and protein hydrolysate) mg/100 kcal 25 90
Phosphorus (formula based on soy protein isolate) mg/100 kcal 30 100
Ratio calcium/phosphorus mg/mg 1:1 2:1
Magnesium mg/100 kcal 5 15
Sodium mg/100 kcal 20 60
Chloride mg/100 kcal 50 160
Potassium mg/100 kcal 60 160
Manganese mg/100 kcal 1 50
Fluoride mg/100 kcal NS 60
Iodine mg/100 kcal 10 50
Selenium mg/100 kcal 1 9
Copper mg/100 kcal 35 80
Zinc mg/100 kcal 0.5 1.5
Other substances
Choline mg/100 kcal 7 50
Myo-inositol mg/100 kcal 4 40
L-carnitine mg/100 kcal 1.2 NS
*The determination of the protein content of formulae based on non-hydrolyzed cows’ milk protein with a protein content between 1.8 and 2.0 g/100 kcal
should be based on measurement of true protein ([total N minus NPN] 36.25) (31).
†Formula based on hydrolyzed milk protein with a protein content less than 2.25 g/100 kcal should be clinically tested.
‡Sucrose (saccharose) and fructose should not be added to infant formula.
§1 mg RE (retinol equivalent) = 1 mg all-trans retinol = 3.33 IU vitamin A. Retinol contents shall be provided by preformed retinol, while any
contents of carotenoids should not be included in the calculation and declaration of vitamin A activity.
1mga-TE (a-tocopherol equivalent) = 1 mg d-a-tocopherol.
{Vitamin E content shall be at least 0.5 mg a-TE per g PUFA, using the following factors of equivalence to adapt the minimal vitamin E content
to the number of fatty acid double bonds in the formula: 0.5 mg a-TE/g linoleic acid (18:2n-6); 0.75 mg a-TE/g a-linolenic acid (18:3n-3); 1.0 mg
a-TE/g arachidonic acid (20:4n-6); 1.25 mg a-TE/g eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3); 1.5 mg a-TE/g docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3).
#Niacin refers to preformed niacin.
**In populations where infants are at risk of iron deficiency, iron contents higher than the minimum level of 0.3 mg/100 kcal may be appropriate
and recommended at a national level.
NS, not specified.
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, Vol. 41, No. 5, November 2005
The IEG discussed whether one should always provide
a label declaration on energy density per unit of powder,
or of nutrient content per g powder or per unit of formula
as ready for consumption. While it was appreciated that
national authorities may choose to request additional
label information, no necessity was seen to introduce a
general requirement. In this report nutrient contents of
infant formulae are generally given per unit of energy
(here per 100 kcal), which is physiologically meaningful.
Energy Density
Studies with current methodology have revealed an
average energy density of human milk of about 650 kcal/L
(6,7), which is some 5–10% less than previously assumed
(8). Also, total energy expenditure of infants was found
to be lower than previously assumed. A milk energy den-
sity markedly higher than typically found in human milk
may increase total energy intake and lead to a higher than
desirable weight gain. A high weight gain in healthy
infants has been associated with an increased risk of later
obesity (9,10). The IEG proposes an energy density of
infant formulae in the range of 60–70 kcal/100 ml, which
is appropriate to support physiological rates of weight
gain in healthy infants.
Sources of Proteins
Minimum and maximum values are provided for cows’
milk proteins, soy protein isolates, and hydrolyzed cows’
milk proteins because published data are available for
these protein sources that allow the delineation of such
minimum and maximum values (2,3). The suitability
for use in infant formulae of other proteins sources and
their adequate minimum and maximum amounts should
be documented on a case-by-case basis. With the
information available to the IEG from the published
and internationally accessible scientific literature, no
recommendations can be made at this time for minimum
and maximum amounts of other protein sources.
Nitrogen Conversion Factor
The definition of minimum and maximum values
for protein contents requires a prior agreement on the
method of calculation of protein, which is usually based
on a measurement of nitrogen content multiplied by a
conversion factor. Different food proteins contain differ-
ing amounts of nitrogen, however, FAO/WHO use a factor
of 6.25 for all their reports on protein requirement and
quality, based on a 16% (by weight) nitrogen content of
mixed protein. For unmodified cows’ milk protein a
nitrogen conversion factor of 6.38 (i.e. 15.7% nitrogen by
weight of total protein) has been determined in the 19th
century (11) and is widely used in Codex Standards on
milk proteins, both whey and casein, until today. The IEG
has no objection to the use of a nitrogen conversion factor
of 6.38 for unmodified cows’ milk protein and whole
cows’ milk in general food products, but it also has no
objection to the default use of a nitrogen conversion
factor of 6.25 in the Codex Alimentarius Guidelines on
Nutrition Labeling (12). However, when considering the
choice of a nitrogen conversion factor for infant formula
protein it is important to appreciate the rather different
nitrogen conversion factors of various proteins and pro-
tein fractions in bovine milk (Table 3) (13).
Proteins derived from cows’ milk used in current
infant formulae are usually modified, e.g. enriched in
whey protein fractions and other nitrogen containing
components with lower N conversion factors than caseins
TABLE 2. Proposed levels of optional ingredients, if added
Optional ingredients Unit Minimum Maximum
Taurine mg/100 kcal 0 12
Total added nucleotides mg/100 kcal 0 5
Cytidine 5#-monophosphate
(CMP) mg/100 kcal 0 1.75
Uridine 5#-monophosphate
(UMP) mg/100 kcal 0 1.5
Adenosine 5#-monophosphate
(AMP) mg/100 kcal 0 1.5
Guanosine 5#-monophosphate
(GMP) mg/100 kcal 0 0.5
Inosine 5#-monophosphate
(IMP) mg/100 kcal 0 1.00
Phospholipids mg/100 kcal 0 300
Docosahexaenoic acid* % of fat 0 0.5
*If docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) is added to infant formula,
arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) contents should reach at least the same
concentration as DHA. The content of eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3)
should not exceed the content of docosahexaenoic acid.
TABLE 3. Milk contents and nitrogen conversion factors
for isolated bovine milk proteins (without carbohydrate),
and for protein fractions*
Bovine milk proteins
and protein fractions
Content in
milk (g/L)
N conversion
-Casein 10.0 6.36
-Casein 2.6 6.29
b-Casein 9.3 6.37
k-Casein 3.3 6.12
g-Casein 0.8 6.34
a-Lactalbumin 1.2 6.25
Bovine serum albumin 0.4 6.07
Immunoglobulin 0.8 6.00
Proteose-peptone 5, 8F, 8S 0.5 6.54
Proteose-peptone 3 0.3 5.89
Lactoferrin 0.1 5.88
Milk fat globule membrane 0.4 6.60
Whole milk 33.0 6.31
Acid casein 6.33
Paracasein 6.31
Acid whey 6.21
Rennet whey 6.28
*Adapted from 71.
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, Vol. 41, No. 5, November 2005
(Table 3). Variations of nonprotein nitrogen (NPN) con-
tents in infant formulae depending on the methods of
production result in further marked changes of the nitro-
gen conversion factor. Therefore, the use of a nitrogen
conversion factor of 6.38 for all milk derived protein
sources in infant formulae is not justified. While it would
be theoretically conceivable that an individual nitrogen
conversion factor might be determined for each product,
based on an analysis of its contents of total nitrogen,
amino acids and nonprotein nitrogen, this is not feasible
in practice. Therefore, it is recommended to use the
following calculation for all types of infant formula:
protein content of infant formulae (g) = nitrogen (g)
It is emphasized here that the recommendations made
by the IEG on formula protein contents are based on
this nitrogen conversion factor and cannot be used with-
out adaptation if other nitrogen conversion factors are
Nonprotein Nitrogen
It has been proposed that a maximum level of
nonprotein nitrogen (NPN) contents in infant formulae
should be set (3), because the proportional content of
metabolizable amino acids is usually expected to de-
crease with a higher percentage of total nitrogen com-
prised by NPN. In human milk some 20–25% of total
nitrogen is contributed by nonprotein nitrogen (NPN), of
which up to 50% may be metabolically used (14,15).
NPN contents in infant formulae, which tend to be used
to a lesser extent by the recipient infants, may account
for up to 20% of total nitrogen in formulae based on
nonhydrolyzed cows’ milk proteins, while relatively high
NPN contents may be found in some whey fractions
separated by ion-exchange, electrodialysis or ultrafiltra-
tion, and up to 25% or more in infant formulae based on
soy protein isolates that are partially hydrolyzed for
technological reasons, or in infant formulae based on
cows’ milk protein hydrolysates (2,3,16,17). The IEG
discussed this question extensively and acknowledges
that the definition of protein quality by a maximum
content of NPN has some limitations. For example, the
addition of some whey based fractions and other nitrogen
containing compounds may increase the biologic value
of the formula along with increasing NPN content.
Furthermore, the same maximum value for NPN content
cannot be applied to formulae based on intact milk
proteins as well as formulae based on hydrolyzed milk
proteins or soy protein isolates, because the latter two
types of formulae contain a larger portion of nitrogen as
NPN. The IEG also concluded that the setting of a
minimal amount of total nitrogen and of dietary indis-
pensable amino acids (cf. Table 4), along with the gen-
eral requirement that infant formula should serve to
promote normal infant growth and development, would
generally suffice to assure an adequate nitrogen intake.
Therefore, the IEG concludes that there is no general
necessity to limit the maximum NPN content in infant
formulae, provided that the other requirements recom-
mended in this report are fulfilled.
Amino Acid Contents of Human Milk Protein
and Requirements for Amino Acid Contents
of Formula Protein
The principal nutritional function of food protein
is to meet physiological needs by supplying adequate
amounts of dietary indispensable (essential) and of die-
tary conditionally indispensable (conditionally essential)
amino acids, and of total nitrogen. In agreement with
LSRO and SCF (2,3), the IEG recommends that evalua-
tion of formula protein composition should use an amino
acid score based on human milk protein composition as
the reference.
The mean amino acid contents in human milk have
been calculated by the LSRO report based on analyses
published in the 1980s and 1990s (18–21). However, one
of these publications is on transitional milk (21), and
only one has analyzed complete 24-hour collections of
human milk (18). The Food and Nutrition Board of the
Institute of Medicine (22) proposed a modified amino
acid pattern of human milk, based on 4 references
(18,23–25). The reference unit in the different sources is
not the same although expressed as mg amino acid per
g protein. For example ‘‘protein’’ is the sum of total
anhydrous amino acids (18,24) or total nitrogen multi-
plied by 6.38 (23) or total nitrogen minus NPN mul-
tiplied by an unknown factor (25). To avoid this problem
it seems advisable to refer the individual amino acid
content to the nitrogen content to avoid confusion about
the nature of the protein calculation, as suggested by the
TABLE 4. Proposed values for amino acid contents in the
human milk reference protein expressed as g/100 g protein
and as mg/100 kcal
Amino acid g/100 g protein mg/100 kcal
Cystine 2.1 38
Histidine 2.3 41
Isoleucine 5.1 92
Leucine 9.4 169
Lysine 6.3 114
Methionine 1.4 24
Phenylalanine 4.5 81
Threonine 4.3 77
Tryptophan 1.8 33
Tyrosine 4.2 75
Valine 4.9 99
Infant formula should contain per 100 kcal an available quantity of
each of the amino acids listed at least equal to that contained in the
reference protein, as shown in this table. For calculation purposes, the
concentrations of phenylalanine and tyrosine may be added together
if the phenylalanine to tyrosine ratio is in the range of 0.7–1.5 to 1, and
the concentrations of methionine and cysteine may be added together
if the methionine to cysteine ratio is in the range of 0.7–1.5 to 1.
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, Vol. 41, No. 5, November 2005
SCF (3). The IEG has calculated mean values based on
published studies on the amino acid content of human
milk, taking into account reports with measurements of
the total nitrogen content and/or the calculation method
for the protein content, including a reference on a large
number of human milk samples published in the Japanese
language (26) which had not been considered in the
previous reports of LSRO and SCF (2,3) (Table 5). These
values are also expressed as content of amino acids
in mg/g protein (total nitrogen 36.25) and as mg amino
acids/100 kcal, based on a minimum protein content of
1.8 g/100 kcal (Table 4). These calculated values are very
similar to those previously suggested by LSRO and SCF.
Infant formula should contain per 100 kcal an avail-
able quantity of the amino acids listed in Table 4 in
amounts at least equal to those contained in the reference
protein. For calculation purposes, the concentrations of
phenylalanine and tyrosine, and of methionine and cys-
teine, respectively, may be added together if the phenyl-
alanine to tyrosine ratio or the methionine to cysteine
ratio, respectively, is in the range of 0.7–1.5:1, which is
the usual range of these ratios in both human milk and
body protein (27–29). The IEG sees no necessity to set
maximum levels of individual amino acid contents in
infant formulae if the maximum levels of protein are set
as recommended.
Protein Content in Infant Formulae Based
on Cows’ Milk Protein
The available data suggest that a crude protein content
of 1.8 g/100 kcal in infant formula, while higher than the
protein supply with breast milk, may be marginal for
normal growth in young infants, and thus the amount of
amino acids supplied to the infant at such low levels of
nitrogen intake appears to be critical (2,3). Therefore, it
is recommended that protein contents of formulae with a
crude protein content (30) between 1.8 and 2.0 g/100 kcal
should be based on measurement of true protein ([total
N minus NPN] 36.25) (31), to guarantee a minimum
amount of amino acid nitrogen available for protein syn-
thesis. Protein content of infant formula should not
exceed 3 g/100 kcal.
Protein Contents in Infant Formulae Based on
Hydrolyzed Cows’ Milk Proteins
A variety of different cows’ milk protein hydrolysates
have been used in infant formulae, which may differ in
total content, relative composition and bioavailability
of amino acids. While the term ‘‘partial’’ has sometimes
been used to characterize a less extensive degree of pro-
tein hydrolyzation, there are no agreed criteria to strictly
define a ‘‘partial hydrolysate’’; therefore, the use of this
term is not supported. Major differences have been
reported for different protein hydrolysate formulae with
respect to nitrogen retention and growth in the recipient
infants (32,33), which point to a potentially significant
variation in the biologic value of different hydrolysates.
For optimal utilization the hydrolyzed protein source
should have a pattern of indispensable amino compara-
ble to that shown in Table 5. The IEG recommends
that infant formulae based on cows’ milk protein
TABLE 5. Amino acid content of human milk from published studies which report measurements of the total nitrogen content
and/or the calculation method for the protein content, expressed as mg per gram nitrogen
¨nnerdal &
Forsum (1985)
Darragh &
Bindels &
Janas et al.
Villalpando et al.
a et al.
(2002) mod. Nayman
et al. (1979)
et al. (1991)
bank milk @
4–16 weeks
Pooled over
20 days @
10–14 weeks
(n = 20)
24 hours,
pooled @
5 weeks
(n = 10)
24 h
pooled @
8 weeks
(n = 10)
24 hours, pooled
@ 4–6 months
bank milk @
.1 month
Milk @
21 days–2
Mean amino
acid content
(mg/g nitrogen)
Mexico Houston
40 40
Arginine 157 200 281 184 168 184 172 223 196
Cystine (half) 111 173 108 101 167 134 133 118 131
Histidine 111 156 255 112 112 108 122 150 141
Isoleucine 242 333 376 306 292 331 300 374 319
Leucine 457 598 713 611 528 541 572 667 586
Lysine 314 406 522 365 366 408 361 421 395
Methionine 78 90 89 73 99 76 83 92 85
Phenylalanine 153 243 344 183 440 439 217 240 282
Threonine 217 316 344 251 248 242 256 269 268
Tryptophan NA NA 172 79 112 89 111 122 114
Tyrosine 201 241 369 191 292 299 233 249 259
Valine 253 327 376 267 286 331 317 364 315
NA, not analyzed.
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, Vol. 41, No. 5, November 2005
hydrolysates with a content of protein hydrolysate less
than 2.25 g/100 kcal should be clinically tested, and such
products should only be accepted if the results have
been evaluated by an independent scientific body before
introduction into the market. The protein content of in-
fant formulae based on cows’ milk protein hydrolysates
should not be less than 1.8 g/100 kcal and not be greater
than 3.0 g/100 kcal.
Protein Contents in Infant Formulae Based on
Soy Protein Isolates
A higher minimum protein level is recommended for
infant formulae with intact proteins other than intact
cows’ milk protein, to correct for potentially lesser
digestibility and biologic value of the nitrogen content,
considering that there is a paucity of data documenting
adequacy. Formulae based on soy protein isolates should
have a minimum protein content of 2.25 g/100 kcal and
a maximum protein content of 3.0 g/100 kcal.
Total Fat
The recommended total fat content of 4.4–6.0 g/100 kcal
is equivalent to about 40–54% of energy content which is
similar to values found typically in human milk (34).
Essential Fatty Acids
A linoleic acid (18:2n-6) content of 300 mg/100 kcal
(about 2.7% of energy intake) suffices to cover the
minimum linoleic acid requirement. A maximum value
for linoleic acid content of 1200 mg/100 kcal is con-
sidered necessary because high intakes may induce
untoward metabolic effects with respect to lipoprotein
metabolism, immune function, eicosanoid balance and
oxidative stress.
The omega-3 fatty acid a-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) is
considered a dietary indispensable fatty acid and serves
as a precursor for the synthesis of docosahexaenoic acid
(22:6n-3), whose availability has been related to infant
development. However, under certain circumstances high
intakes of a-linolenic acid may increase the risk of lipid
peroxidation, product rancification, and may adversely
affect formula stability. Given the limited knowledge on
the activity of in vivo formation of docosahexaenoic acid
from the precursor a-linolenic acid and on a-linolenic
acid requirements in infancy, a minimum a-linolenic
acid (18:3n-3) content of 50 mg/100 kcal (about 0.45%
of energy intake) is recommended.
To ascertain a proper balance between linoleic and a-
linolenic acids as well as the long-chain polyunsaturated
fatty acids (LC-PUFA) and eicosanoids resulting from
their metabolism, a linoleic/a-linolenic acid ratio in the
range of 5–15 to 1 is recommended. The implementation
of this ratio also results in an appropriate limitation of
the a-linolenic acid contents to no more than 1/5 of
1200 mg/100 kcal, i.e. 240 mg/100 kcal. Therefore, no
further maximum level of a-linolenic acid needs to be set.
Lauric and Myristic Acids
In consideration of the potential negative effects of
lauric acid and myristic acid on serum cholesterol and
lipoprotein concentrations, the sum of myristic acid
and lauric acid should not exceed 20% of total fat
Trans Fatty Acids
Trans fatty acids have no known nutritional benefit for
infants, but a number of untoward biologic effects have
been attributed to trans fatty acid consumption, such as
impairment of microsomal desaturation and chain
elongation of essential fatty acids, alterations of lipopro-
tein metabolism and potential impairment of early
growth (35–37). Therefore, prudence dictates the limita-
tion of these substances in infant formulae (2). Consid-
ering that the concentration of trans fatty acids in bovine
milk fat varies, that formulae may contain as much as
40–50% of the fat as bovine milk fat, and also taking
the view that the use of hydrogenated oils in infant and
follow-on formulae should be discouraged, the IEG
recommends that the contents of trans fatty acids should
not exceed 3% of total fat content.
Erucic Acid
While erucic acid has no known nutritional benefit for
infants, observations in animals have indicated potential
myocardial alterations. The IEG recommends that erucic
acid contents acids should not exceed 1% of total fat
Total Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for the
infant. Taking into account the glucose needs of the
human brain, the recommended minimum total carbohy-
drate content of 9.0 g/100 kcal is based on a calculation
of glucose needs for obligatory central nervous system
oxidation while minimizing the contribution of gluco-
neogenesis (2,3). The IEG proposes a maximum carbo-
hydrate content of 14.0 g/100 kcal being equivalent to
about 56% of energy content.
The dominant digestible carbohydrate in human milk
is lactose, which provides about 40% of the energy value.
Lactose is considered to provide beneficial effects for
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, Vol. 41, No. 5, November 2005
gut physiology, including prebiotic effects, softening of
stools, and enhancement of water, sodium and calcium
absorption. Therefore, the IEG considers it prudent to
include lactose in infant formula. However, a specific
need of young infants for lactose has not been demon-
strated. The possible beneficial effects of lactose on
gut physiology, gut microflora, stool consistency, and
the absorption of water, sodium and calcium by passive
nonsaturable diffusion are not restricted to lactose,
but may at least in part be achieved by other com-
ponents in infant formula. Therefore, no minimum or
maximum levels can be set based on available scientific
Glucose is found only in minor amounts in human
milk and is considered unsuitable for routine use in infant
formula. During heat treatment of formula, glucose may
react nonenzymatically with protein and form Maillard
products (2). The addition of glucose to infant formula
would also lead to a marked increase of osmolality,
which is not desirable and may cause untoward effects
in the recipient infants; the addition of 1 g glucose per
100 ml formula increases osmolality by 58 mOsm/kg.
Therefore, the addition of glucose to infant formulae is
not recommended.
Sucrose (saccharose) and Fructose
Feeding of formulae with added fructose or sucrose,
a disaccharide containing glucose and fructose, may lead
to severe adverse effects including death in young infants
affected by hereditary fructose intolerance. Hereditary
fructose intolerance (aldolase B or fructose-1-phosphate
aldolase deficiency) is a potentially fatal disease with a
reported incidence as high as 1:20,000 in some popu-
lations. Affected young infants fed fructose or saccharose
containing formulae develop hypoglycemia, vomiting,
malnutrition, liver cirrhosis and particularly at a young
age also sudden death. Given the severe adverse effects
of dietary fructose supply in early infancy, the IEG rec-
ommends that sucrose and fructose should not be added
to infant formulae intended for feeding during the first
4–6 months of life.
Considering the ability of infants to digest starches
and the possible need to include some starch contents
in infant formulae for technological reasons, the IEG
supports that starches (precooked or gelatinized) may be
added to infant formulas up to 30% of total carbohydrates
or up to 2 g/100 ml.
Lipid Soluble Vitamins
The lipid-soluble vitamins A, E, D and K are deposited
in body fats, such as adipose tissue. High intakes over
prolonged periods of time may thus lead to their tissue
accumulation and may induce untoward effects. There-
fore, both too low and too high intakes should be
Vitamin A
Considering vitamin A contents in human milk, a
presumed higher bioavailability from human milk than
infant formula, reference intake values and upper toler-
able intake levels, a content of 60–180 mg RE/100 kcal
(retinol equivalent, 1 mg RE = 3.33 IU vitamin A = 1 mg
all-trans retinol) is recommended. Since the relative
equivalence of b-carotene and retinol in infants is not
known and previously assumed equivalence factors may
not be adequate, vitamin A contents in infant formulae
should be provided by retinol or retinyl esters, while any
contents of carotenoids should not be included in the
calculation and declaration of vitamin A activity.
Vitamin D
No conclusive evidence is available to allow a com-
parative assessment of the biologic activity of dietary
vitamin D
and vitamin D
in infants. Therefore, it is
recommended to continue to use vitamin D
in infant
formulae, rather than vitamin D
, until such comparative
data might become available. In agreement with the
considerations discussed by previous expert panels (2,3),
a vitamin D
content in the range of 1–2.5 mg/100 kcal
is recommended.
Vitamin E
Infant formula should contain 0.5–5 mg a-TE/100 kcal
(a-tocopherol equivalent, 1 mg a-TE = 1 mg d-a-
tocopherol), but not less than 0.5 mg/g linoleic acid or
equivalent. A maximum intake of 5 mg will more than
suffice to protect the proposed maximum contents of
polyunsaturated fatty acids in the order of 1.5 g/100 kcal.
Since vitamin E requirements have been reported to
increase with the number of double bonds contained in
the dietary fatty acid supply (38), the following factors of
equivalence should be used to adapt the minimal vitamin
E content to the formula fatty acid composition: 0.5 mg
a-TE/g linoleic acid (18:2n-6), 0.75 mg a-TE/a-lino-
lenic acid (18:3n-3), 1.0 mg a-TE/g arachidonic acid (20:
4n-6), 1.25 mg a-TE/g eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3),
and 1.5 mg a-TE/g docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3).
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, Vol. 41, No. 5, November 2005
Vitamin K
Reference intakes in infancy have been set in the
order of 4–10 mg/d (3). Vitamin K levels of current infant
formulae, usually above 4 mg/100 kcal, provide an
effective protection against vitamin K deficiency and the
occurrence of bleeding and may provide a certain level of
safety even under some conditions of incomplete vitamin
K absorption (39). A population wide daily supplement
of 25 mg vitamin K
is provided to infants in the
Netherlands (40) and oral supplementation of infants
with several mg vitamin K is given during the first weeks
of life in different countries without any indication of
untoward effects. No known toxicities are associated
with a formula content of 25 mg/100 kcal (2). Infant
formula should contain 4–25 mg/100 kcal.
Water Soluble Vitamins
General Considerations on Minimum and
Maximum Levels
Minimum levels of each vitamin in formula, when
consumed in normal amounts, should ensure that the
infant is able to grow and develop normally and not be
at risk of developing an inadequate nutritional status.
Minimum levels in infant formulae have been derived
from reference nutrient intakes for infants per day based
on the model of an infant with a weight of 5 kg and a
formula consumption of 500 kcal/d. Maximum levels
should ensure that the infant is not exposed to the risk of
excess. Since water soluble vitamins supplied in amounts
that cannot be utilized or stored by the body must to be
excreted, excessive intakes will reduce the margin of
safety, especially under conditions of stress, such as dur-
ing fever or diarrhea or especially during weight loss
(41). Tolerance will vary amongst individuals, with age
and other circumstances. However, once adequate allow-
ance has been made to ensure that the normal require-
ments have been met, a reasonable margin of safety
would not be expected to require an intake in excess of
two to five times the requirement, unless there is clear
evidence to justify an alternative. Nutrients added for
technological reasons would not be expected to be pres-
ent in amounts greater than five times the requirement,
without clear evidence to justify an alternative. The IEG
notes that very high intakes of water soluble vitamins
exceeding five times the requirements have generally not
been subjected to systematic evaluation in infants with
respect to their biologic effects and potential interaction
with other formula components, and the safety of such
high intakes in infancy has generally not been docu-
mented. The IEG sees no reason to add to infant formulae
excessive amounts of any nutrient that do not serve any
nutritional purpose or provide any other benefit, and the
effects of which have not been evaluated. Therefore, the
contents of water-soluble vitamins in infant formulae
generally should not exceed five times the minimum
Thiamin (vitamin B
In view of a reference or adequate intake for infants of
200–300 mg/d (42–44), infant formulae should contain
60–300 mg/100 kcal.
Riboflavin (vitamin B
Considering a reference or adequate intake for infants
of 300–400 mg/d (42–44), infant formulae should contain
80–400 mg/100 kcal.
Niacin (vitamin B
Given that niacin contents in human milk have been
reported in the range of about 164–343 mg/100 kcal (45),
infant formulae should contain 300–1500 mg/100 kcal.
These niacin contents of infant formulae apply to pre-
formed niacin.
Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B
Taking a reference or adequate intake for infants of
200–400 mg/d into account (42,43), infant formulae
should contain 60–300 mg/100 kcal.
Pyridoxine (vitamin B
Considering mature human milk contents of about
10–45 mg/100 kcal) (45), infant formula contents of
35–175 mg/100 kcal are recommended.
Cobalamin (vitamin B
Considering average human milk contents (45) and
a reference intake for infants of 0.3–0.5 mg/d (42), levels
in infant formula should be 0.1–0.5 mg/100 kcal.
Folic Acid
In view of an infant reference or adequate intake of
50–65 mg/d (42,44), infant formula should contain 10–
50 mg folic acid/100 kcal.
L-ascorbic Acid (vitamin C)
Human milk contains about 4.5–15 mg/100 kcal (2).
Infant reference intakes have been set at 20 mg/d (44),
30 mg/d (2) and 40 mg/d (46). A minimum level in infant
formula of 10 mg/100 kcal is recommended. High as-
corbic acid intakes may induce copper deficiency (47).
Therefore, the maximum level in infant formula should
be 30 mg/100 kcal.
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, Vol. 41, No. 5, November 2005
Taking into account reported human milk contents
in the range of about 0.75–1.3 mg/100 kcal (45) and the
absence of agreed numerical reference intakes for in-
fants, infant formula levels of 1.5–7.5 mg/100 kcal are
Minerals and Trace Elements
The IEG reached unanimous consensus on the iron
recommendation as outline below, but after the IEG meet-
ing one member (SB) raised concerns regarding these
conclusions and supported the previous recommendation
by the national academy of pediatrics in the member’s
country that infant formula should have a minimal iron
content of 4 mg/L (about 0.6 mg/100 kcal) (48). In con-
trast, all the other 15 IEG members maintained their
support for the recommendations made below.
In 1981 the Codex Alimentarius infant formula stan-
dard set a requirement of a minimum iron content of
1 mg/100 kcal (1). Recent data indicate that lower iron
contents can suffice to meet infant iron requirements.
During the period when infant formula may be fed ex-
clusively, i.e. before the introduction of complementary
foods, infant formulae based on cows’ milk protein sup-
plying about 0.25 mg/100 kcal and 0.6 mg/100 kcal
resulted in similar iron status and hematology results
(49), while previous studies showed no difference for feed-
ing infant formulae with about 0.6 mg and 1.0 mg/100 kcal,
respectively (50). Thus, there was no significant differ-
ence between infants fed formulae containing 0.25 mg,
0.6 mg and 1.0 mg per 100 kcal, and there were no infants
with inadequate iron status in either group.
After the age of 6 months, infant formula is unlikely
to be fed exclusively if at all, and the introduction of
complementary feeding/Beikost and the stepwise intro-
duction of foods from adult diets are recommended.
The IEG addressed the question whether formula feeding
together with diets having very low iron contents might
induce a risk of developing iron deficiency anemia during
this time period. In a study from Chile (51), infants were
fed formulae with about 0.34 mg and 1.9 mg/100 kcal,
respectively, from 6 to 12 months of age. As these
Chilean infants received little additional iron from com-
plementary feeding, this study evaluates whether the lower
level of iron fortification would be inadequate in a poor
setting. There was no significant difference in prevalence
of iron deficiency anemia between groups. Only iron
deficiency (ID) with anemia (IDA) has been associated
with adverse functional outcomes. Infants fed the formula
with the higher level of iron had somewhat higher levels
of serum ferritin, greater mean cell volumes and lower
erythrocyte protoporphyrin levels. The authors concluded
that formulae with relatively small amounts of iron appear
to prevent IDA. It is not at all surprising that formula with
a higher level of iron fortification results in higher iron
status, but this study provides no evidence for 0.34 mg
iron/100 kcal being inadequate for preventing iron defi-
ciency anemia in infants during the first six months of life.
A further consideration addressed was the argument
that a low iron bioavailability from formula might justify
that the minimum level should be kept higher. It has
commonly been assumed that iron absorption from breast
milk is much higher (about 5-fold) than from infant
formula. However, such data were generated more than
two decades ago, and there were several methodological
problems with these studies. For example, a commonly
cited study by Saarinen et al. (52) used an extrinsic
labeling technique that is not valid, and what they called
‘‘formula’’ was a homemade product made from cows’
milk. In addition, infant formulae have developed during
the last two decades and ‘‘current infant formulas have a
high iron bioavailability, which is an appealing argument
for lowering the level of iron fortification in these products’
(53). Recent studies show that iron absorption from both
breast milk and modern infant formulae is about 15–20%;
thus, there is no major difference in iron absorption be-
tween modern infant formulae and human milk (53–56).
Therefore, a breast-fed infant consuming 750 ml of milk
will absorb 20% of 0.2–0.3 mg/L = 0.03 – 0.05 mg of iron
per day. A formula-fed infant consuming 500 kcal/d
would absorb 15–20% of 0.3 mg/100 kcal (proposed mini-
mum for cows’ milk based formulae) equal to 0.22 – 0.3 mg
of iron per day. Thus, infants fed the proposed minimum
level would absorb 4–10 times more iron than breast-fed
The IEG considered potential risks associated with
providing too much iron in early life. Prior to the delib-
erations of LSRO (2) there was little evidence suggesting
that too much iron could be detrimental. While both
Haschke et al. (57) and Lo
¨nnerdal and Hernell (50) had
shown lower copper status and copper absorptionin infants
fed formula with a higher level of iron (1.5 mg/100 kcal
and 1 mg/100 kcal, respectively), this had not been asso-
ciated with any functional outcomes. However, in a recent
study on Swedish and Honduran infants (4–9 months of
age), Swedish breast-fed infants with adequate iron status,
who were given iron supplements, had significantly lower
length gain than unsupplemented infants (58). This was
not observed for the Honduran cohort as such, but when
dividing these infants according to iron status which
varied much more in Honduras, infants with adequate iron
status given iron supplements had significantly lower
length gain. Further, infants with adequate iron status
who were given iron had a significantly higher preva-
lence of diarrhea and a marginally higher prevalence of
upper respiratory infections. Thus, in both settings, one
affluent and one poor population, providing excess iron
caused adverse effects.
While it may be argued that the supplemental iron was
given in free form and not in formula, basic studies on
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, Vol. 41, No. 5, November 2005
iron homeostasis in infants suggest that there may be
reasons for concern, regardless of the form of iron
provided. In the Swedish cohort described earlier, iron
absorption studies with stable isotopes have been per-
formed (59). Iron absorption at 6 months was identical in
infants who had received iron supplements for 2 months
and those who had not been supplemented. Thus, at
this age there is no homeostatic downregulation of iron
absorption as would occur in adults. By 9 months of
age, iron absorption was significantly lower in Fe-
supplemented infants than in nonsupplemented infants.
This shows that regulation of iron absorption is immature
at a young age and does not start reaching adult levels
until after 9 months of age. This was further supported by
the fact that hemoglobin and serum ferritin of infants
with adequate iron status increased to the same extent as
they did in non-supplemented infants (60), i.e. whatever
amounts of iron given will be absorbed and accumulated
in the body raising the possibility of iron excess. Whether
the adverse effects of excess iron are due to pro-oxidative
events caused by Fe, interactions with zinc which may
affect insulin like growth factor 1 and thereby growth, or
the immune system and be related to infection risks, or
other factors cannot be determined with certainty at this
time. However, the observed effects warrant caution
with respect to supplying iron exceeding requirements.
Iron contents higher than 1.3 mg/100 kcal provide no
additional benefit, but adverse affects on copper status
have been observed (50,57).
A further question addressed was whether a minimum
iron content of 0.3 mg/100 kcal would be appropriate
for all populations. Various bodies, including the World
Health Organization, have made efforts to improve the
micronutrient supply of infants with complementary foods
globally. In many parts of the world, weaning foods
containing meat and iron fortified baby foods with a good
bioavailability of iron are commonly used between 6–
12 months. Thus, many infants receive quite substantial
quantities of iron in their diet, and there may be good
reasons to allow formula manufacturers to use a level
close to the minimum level. However, in populations where
infants are at high risk of iron deficiency, iron contents in
infant formula higher than the recommended minimal
level seem appropriate.
Phytic acid contained in infant formulae based on soy
protein isolates inhibits iron absorption (61), therefore,
the minimum and maximum irons level in soy-protein
based infant formulae should be about 1.5 times higher
than in the cows’ milk protein-based formulae. Iron
content in infant formulae based on cows’ milk protein
and its hydrolysates should be in the range of 0.3–
1.3 mg/100 kcal, whereas infant formulae based on soy
protein isolates should have an iron content of 0.45–
2.0 mg/100 kcal. It is emphasized that after the age of
about 6 months, other iron containing foods should
supplement the iron supplied by formulae. In populations
where infants are at high risk of iron deficiency, iron
contents in infant formula higher than 0.3 mg/kcal may
be appropriate, and national authorities may choose to
stipulate iron contents which they consider appropriate.
In view of the lower bioavailability of calcium from
infant formulae than from cows’ milk, and in agreement
with previous expert consultations (2,3), a calcium
content of 50–140 mg/100 kcal is recommended.
The bioavailable fraction of total phosphorus contents
is about 80% in formulae based on cows’ milk proteins
and their hydrolysates, and about 70% in soy protein
isolate based formulae (2,3). While it is theoretically
conceivable to set a level of absorbable phosphorus in
infant formulae, the in vivo bioavailability is difficult to
determine and no standard method has been established.
Therefore, different levels of phosphorus contents in
formulae based on cows’ milk proteins and their hydro-
lysates (25–90 mg/100 kcal), and on soy protein isolates
(30–100 mg/100 kcal) are recommended.
Calcium-Phosphorus Ratio
In view of possible untoward effects of unbalanced
ratios between calcium and phosphorus contents and
in line with previous expert consultations (2,3), the
calcium-phosphorus-ratio (weight/weight) should not
be less than 1:1 and not be greater than 2:1.
Infant formula should contain a minimum similar to
human milk contents (about 4.8–5.5 mg/100 kcal) (62),
with a range of 5–15 mg/100 kcal.
Sodium, Potassium, Chloride
Infant formula contents similar to those suggested by
previous expert consultations (2,3) are recommended: so-
dium 20–60 mg/100 kcal, potassium 60–160 mg/100 kcal,
and chloride 50–160 mg/100 kcal.
The recommended minimum level of 1 mg/100 kcal is
in the order of human milk concentrations (62). There
is no major difference in manganese bioavailability be-
tween breast milk and formulae. The maximum content
should be 50 mg/100 kcal which is equivalent to that of
unsupplemented soy formula, and about 60 times higher
than breast milk levels. Higher manganese contents
should be avoided, since due to immature manganese
excretion in infants they may cause accumulation in
tissues including brain and might induce potential
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, Vol. 41, No. 5, November 2005
adverse effects, such as neurodevelopmental abnormal-
ities observed in newborn animals (63).
Infants may be exposed to an additional fluoride
intake, e.g. from fluoride containing water. The bene-
fit of a high fluoride intake during early infancy is
questionable and carries the risk of dental fluorosis.
Therefore, maximum levels should be as low as possible
and not exceed 60 mg/100 kcal. No minimum level is
Considering infant reference nutrient intakes set by
different bodies in the range of 35 to 130 mg/d (3) and
the range of human milk contents (62), infant formula
should contain 10–50 mg/100 kcal.
Reported human milk contents vary considerably, with
median values in the range of about 0.8 to 3.3 mg/100 kcal
(3). Infant reference nutrient intakes set by different
bodies range from 5 to 30 mg/d (3). Very high intakes
may cause untoward effects (64). Infant formula should
contain 1–9 mg/100 kcal.
Since there is no major difference in bioavailability
between human milk and formulae, a minimum level of
35 mg/100 kcal which is similar to breast milk contents
is proposed. It appears prudent to limit the concentration
of pro-oxidative elements like copper, and a maximum
level of 80 mg/100 kcal, about 3 times higher than in
human milk, is recommended.
Reference nutrient intakes for infants range from 1–
5 mg/d. Even though there is a difference in bioavailability
between formulae based on cows’ milk proteins and on
soy protein isolates, respectively, one single minimum
value of 0.5 mg/100 kcal is considered sufficient as it will
cover the need of zinc also in infants fed soy formula.
Since high intakes may interfere with the absorption
and metabolism of other micronutrients, a maximum
level of 1.5 mg/100 kcal is set.
Other Substances
In accordance with the conclusions of previous expert
reviews (2,3), a minimum choline content of 7 mg/100 kcal
is recommended. LSRO and SCF recommended maximum
levels of 30 mg/100 kcal based on extrapolation of adult
data. Since no major safety concerns exist and no ad-
verse effects of higher choline intakes have been docu-
mented in infants, we suggest a maximum level of
50 mg/100 kcal to harmonize the maximum choline
content with a proposed maximum phospholipid content
of 300 mg/100 kcal (see optional ingredients, below),
considering that a major part of added phospholipids
may be provided as phosphatidyl choline.
The recommendations of previous expert reviews (2,3)
for a myo-inositol content of 4–40 mg/100 kcal are
The recommendations of previous expert reviews (2,3)
for a minimum L-carnitine content of 1.2 mg/100 kcal
are supported. In contrast to the SCF, LSRO suggested
a maximum level of 2 mg/100 kcal based on the upper
end of the usual range found in human milk (2). In the
absence of indications of any untoward effects of higher
L-carnitine intakes in infants, the IEG concluded that
no maximum level is needed to be set.
Optional Ingredients
In line with previous expert consultations (2,3), the
IEG sees no need for mandatory addition of taurine to
infant formulae, but recommends the optional addition in
amounts up to 12 mg/100 kcal.
Several publications have reported beneficial effects of
the addition of nucleotides to infant formulae (2,3). The
IEG did not find sufficient data to support additional
benefits from increasing intakes to levels greater than
5 mg/100 kcal, while adverse affects of higher contents
such as increased risk of respiratory tract infections have
been reported (65). The optional addition of nucleotides
at a maximum total content of 5 mg/100 kcal as well as
maximal levels of 2.5 mg/100 kcal CMP, 1.75 mg/100 kcal
UMP, 1.5 mg/100 kcal AMP, 0.5 mg/100 kcal GMP, and
1.0 mg/100 kcal IMP are recommended.
Phospholipids such as phosphatidyl choline have key
functions in signal transduction affecting important cell
functions. In milk and in the intestinal lumen phospho-
lipids contribute to solubilizing lipophilic compounds.
Phospholipids may also be added to infant formulae
as a source of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. A
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, Vol. 41, No. 5, November 2005
maximum concentration of 300 mg/100 kcal (equivalent
to about 2 g/L) seems safe with respect to the potential
range obtained of triglyceride/phospholipids ratios.
Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (LC-PUFA)
In view of beneficial effects of the addition of LC-
PUFA to infant formulae reported in a number of publi-
cations (2,3), their optional addition to infant formulae is
supported by the IEG. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA,
22:6n-3) and arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4n-6) are the
main LC-PUFA in human milk, both of which are always
present (66). The DHA contents in human milk are quite
variable and reach high levels in populations with high
marine food consumption, with consecutive marked var-
iation of the DHA to AA ratio in milk (66–68). LC-PUFA
of the n-3 series such as DHA and of the n-6 series such
as AA, respectively, are metabolic competitors with
differential effects for example on eicosanoid metabo-
lism, membrane physiology, and immune function.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) is found in only
minor concentrations in human milk and infant tissues
and is a direct metabolic competitor of AA. A large
number of studies in which LC-PUFA were added to
infant formulae have not raised major safety concerns
and a recent meta-analysis found no indication of adverse
effects on growth of the addition of both DHA and AA,
and neither were adverse effects reported in analyzing the
limited number of studies with addition of only n-3 LC-
PUFA (69). However, adverse growth effects have been
reported in single studies with supplementation of fish
oils without concomitant n-6 LC-PUFA supply, particu-
larly at high EPA intakes (69). It is noted that at this time
there is no sufficient documentation of the benefits and
safety of the addition of DHA to infant formula at levels
.0.5% of total fat content, or of DHA without concomi-
tant addition of AA. Until the benefits and suitability for
particular nutritional uses and the safety of other addi-
tions have been adequately demonstrated, the optional
addition of DHA should not exceed 0.5% of total fat
intake, and AA contents should be at least the same con-
centration as DHA, whereas the content of EPA in infant
formula should not exceed the DHA content.
The IEG noted that carrageenan is included in the
provisional list of accepted food additives for infant for-
mulae of the current draft of the Codex Alimentarius for
an infant formula standard. Carrageenan is used as a
thickener, stabilizer, and textures in a variety of pro-
cessed foods. In animals carrageenan can induce in-
flammatory reactions in the intestine. As a component of
a barium enema solution, carrageenan produced allergic
reactions (70). Given the lack of adequate information on
possible absorption of carrageenan by the immature gut
in the young infants and its biologic effects in infancy,
it appears inadvisable to use carrageenan in infant for-
mulae intended for feeding young infants, including those
in the category of foods for special medical purposes.
CCNFSDU, Codex Committee on Nutrition and
Foods for Special Dietary Uses
ESPGHAN, European Society of Pediatric Gastroen-
terology, Hepatology and Nutrition
EWG, Electronic working group of CCNFSDU
FAO , Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations
FISPGHAN, Federation of International Societies of
Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
FSMP, Food for special medical purposes
LSRO, Life Science Research Office, American
Society for Nutritional Sciences
ID, Iron deficiency
IDA, Iron deficiency anemia
IEG, ESPGHAN coordinated International Expert
NPN, Nonprotein nitrogen
RE, Retinol equivalent
SCF, Scientific Committee for Food of the European
TE, Tocopherol equivalent
WHO, World Health Organization
Acknowledgments: The financial support of the European
Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutri-
tion (ESPGHAN; for the costs of the Work-
shop of the International Expert Group, and of the charitable
Child Health Foundation ( for re-
funding travel expenses of International Expert Group members
attending the Workshop, is gratefully acknowledged. We also
thank Ms. Juliana von Berlepsch and Ms. Julia von Rosen
for their help in the organization of the IEG meeting, and
Ms. Juliana von Berlepsch for invaluable assistance in editing
the manuscript.
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... Codex Standard 72 on Infant formula 11 was adopted as a worldwide standard in 1981, which was then revised as ESPGHAN (European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition) Recommended Standards for the Composition of Infant Formula. 12 As stated in the standard, lactose and glucose should be the preferred carbohydrate in infant formulae. This preference is because lactose is predominant in human milk and of newborns' ability to hydrolyze it. ...
... Comparatively, glucose is present in low levels in human breastmilk and therefore unsuitable for routine use in infant formula. 12 Small amounts of glucose, however, may help mitigate the disagreeable taste of infant formulae. ...
... These results differed from those of Walker and Goran's study in 2015, where it was found that sugar content in infant formulae was distributed among lactose, sucrose, maltose, or glucose. 23 According to the ESPGHAN Recommended Standards for the Composition of Infant Formula, 11,12 lactose and glucose should be the preferred carbohydrate in a formula based on cow's milk protein and hydrolyzed protein, and fructose should not be added to infant formulae intended for use during the first 6 months of life. 12 The current study did not analyze the lactose content because lactose has low cariogenicity. ...
Full-text available
Background: Infant formulae are a primary source of nutrition during the first years of life, to which sugars are frequently added. This may contribute to adverse dental health problems if consumed excessively when coupled with prolonged and nocturnal feeding habits. Aim: To assess the amount and type of dietary sugars in commercially available infant formulae in the UAE. Design: Sucrose, glucose, and fructose were measured in 71 different brands of commercially available infant formulae for retail sale in the UAE. Analysis was performed using high-performance liquid chromatography with refractive index detection. Sugar values were compared with nutritional labels. Comparison between findings, products' labels, and international standards for infant formulae was performed. Results: Of the 71 samples, 23 had detectable sugar levels, varying between sucrose, glucose, and fructose. Ten samples were found to have sugars contributing to more than 5% of total energy intake ranging between 5.68 - 27.06%. All infant formulae packages had carbohydrate levels mentioned on the labels, but very few mentioned the added sugar content. Conclusions: Many infant formulae products tested contained sugars that exceeded the standard recommended intake. Tighter regulations that monitor the amount of sugar in infant formulae and guidelines for comprehensive labelling systems are required.
... LAT is the predominant soluble digestible glycan in the milk. It provides a readily available energy source to newborn mammals and beneficial effects for gut physiology [27]. In young infants, LAT may reach the colon, where it is fermented to SCFAs which confer a range of beneficial prebiotic effects on the developing gut microbiome and intestinal barrier function [28]. ...
Full-text available
We aim to explore the intestinal microbial metabolites in preterm infants with noninvasive methods and analyze the effects of initial feeding methods. Preterm infants with gestational weeks lower than 34 were recruited for fecal sample collection every 7 days. Fecal pH, ammonia, bile acid, and secretory IgA (sIgA) were tested. A 1:10 fecal slurry was inoculated into different culture media containing different carbohydrates as the only carbon source: lactose (LAT), fructooligosaccharide (FOS), galactooligosaccharide (GOS), and 2′-fucosyllactose (FL2). After 24 h of anaerobic culture through an in vitro fermentation system, air pressure difference, carbohydrate degradation rate, and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) content in fermentation pots were measured. Preterm infants were assigned into two groups: group A, preterm infants fed by human milk, including mother’s own milk and donor human milk (DHM); group B, preterm infants fed by preterm formula at first 3 days and fed by human milk (including mother’s own milk and DHM) from day 4 to discharge. Group A included 90 samples and group B included 70 samples. Group A had lower fecal pH (p = 0.023), ammonia (p = 0.001), and bile acids (p = 0.025). Group B also had higher fecal sIgA levels, both in OD (p = 0.046) and concentration (p < 0.0001) methods. Carbohydrates degradation rates in group A were higher than group B, especially in LAT medium (p = 0.017) and GOS medium (p = 0.005). Gas production amount had no significant difference in all four media. Several different SCFAs in four kinds of different culture media in group A were higher than in group B, but valeric acid was lower in group A. The initial feeding methods may affect the preterm infants’ intestinal microecology and microbial metabolites for at least several weeks.
... 12 Interestingly, human milk-derived fortifiers (HMF) have recently become available, but compared to BMF did not decrease the risk for necrotizing enterocolitis in breastfed preterm infants according to a Cochrane database research. 13 The criteria for the composition of infant formula have been defined, 14 and CMP content is expressed as amount total protein (g/100 kcal), independent of whether it contains intact or hydrolyzed milk proteins. ...
Full-text available
Background The immunopathogenesis of cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) is based on different mechanisms related to immune recognition of protein epitopes, which are affected by industrial processing. Purpose The purpose of this WAO DRACMA paper is to: (i) give a comprehensive overview of milk protein allergens, (ii) to review their immunogenicity and allergenicity in the context of industrial processing, and (iii) to review the milk-related immune mechanisms triggering IgE-mediated immediate type hypersensitivity reactions, mixed reactions and non-IgE mediated hypersensitivities. Results The main cow’s milk allergens – α-lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin, serum albumin, caseins, bovine serum albumins, and others – may determine allergic reactions through a range of mechanisms. All marketed milk and milk products have undergone industrial processing that involves heating, filtration, and defatting. Milk processing results in structural changes of immunomodulatory proteins, leads to a loss of lipophilic compounds in the matrix, and hence to a higher allergenicity of industrially processed milk products. Thereby, the tolerogenic capacity of raw farm milk, associated with the whey proteins α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin and their lipophilic ligands, is lost. Conclusion The spectrum of immunopathogenic mechanisms underlying cow's milk allergy (CMA) is wide. Unprocessed, fresh cow's milk, like human breast milk, contains various tolerogenic factors that are impaired by industrial processing. Further studies focusing on the immunological consequences of milk processing are warranted to understand on a molecular basis to what extent processing procedures make single milk compounds into allergens.
We investigated the effect of infant formula (IF) with human milk oligosaccharides [(HMOs); 2’-fucosyllactose (2´FL; 1 g L⁻¹) and lacto-N-neotetraose (LNnT; 0.5 g L⁻¹)] on gut microbiota using the Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME®) model with faecal samples from 6 months old infants. Samples of the colonic contents were cultured and analysed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and microbial metabolites by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. A key finding was an expressive increase in Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and short-chain fatty acids, primarily acetate, accompanied by a drastic reduction in Clostridium, Veillonella, and Eubacterium. This study showed that an IF with 2’-FL + LNnT positively modulates the infant gut microbiome by increasing beneficial bacteria while reducing potential pathogens.
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Background Breastmilk is the most appropriate food for infants and exclusive breastfeeding is highly recommended for the first six months of life to promote adequate growth and development and lower infant morbidity and mortality. Among the best-documented benefits of breastfeeding is the reduced risk of disease and infections such as pneumonia, diarrhea and acute otitis media. Nonetheless, there are situations in which the infant cannot be breastfed; therefore, it is essential to use an appropriately designed infant formula. As current infant formulas incorporate novel ingredients to partly mimic the composition of human milk, the safety and suitability of each specific infant formula should be tested by clinical evaluation in the target population. Here, we report the results of a multicenter, randomized, blinded, controlled clinical trial that aimed to evaluate a novel starting formula on weight gain and body composition of infants up to 6 and 12 months (INNOVA 2020 study), as well as safety and tolerability. The complete protocol of this study has been previously issued. Study design 210 infants (70/group) were enrolled in the study, and completed the intervention until 12 months of age. For the intervention period, infants were divided into three groups: group 1 received the formula 1 (Nutribén® Innova1 or INN), with a lower amount of protein, and enriched in α-lactalbumin protein, and with a double amount of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)/ arachidonic acid (ARA) than the standard formula; it also contained a thermally inactivated postbiotic ( Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis , BPL1™ HT). Group 2 received the standard formula or formula 2 (Nutriben® Natal or STD) and the third group was exclusively breastfed for exploratory analysis and used as a reference (BFD group). During the study, visits were made at 21 days, 2, 4, 6, and 12 months of age, with ± 3 days for the visit at 21 days of age, ± 1 week for the visit at 2 months, and ± 2 weeks for the others. During the first 6 months of the study, and until obtaining the main variable, the infants were only supplied with the starting formula or natural breastfeeding. Results The primary outcome, weight gain, was higher in both formula groups than in the BFD group at 6 and 12 months, whereas no differences were found between STD and INN groups neither at 6 nor at 12 months. Likewise, BMI was higher in infants fed the two formulas compared with the BFD group. Regarding body composition, length, head circumference and tricipital/subscapular skinfolds were alike between groups. The INN formula was considered safe as weight gain and body composition were within the normal limits, according to WHO standards. The BFD group exhibited more liquid consistency in the stools compared to both formula groups. All groups showed similar digestive tolerance and infant behavior. However, most adverse events were reported by the STD formula group (291), followed by the INN formula (282) and the BFD groups (227). Nonetheless, most of the adverse events (95.5%) were not considered to be related to the type of feeding There were fewer respiratory, thoracic, and mediastinal disorders among BFD children. Additionally, infants receiving the INN formula experienced significantly fewer general disorders and disturbances than those receiving the STD formula Indeed, atopic dermatitis, bronchitis, and bronchiolitis were significantly more prevalent among infants who were fed the STD formula compared to those fed BFD formula or INN formula. To evaluate whether there are significant differences between formula treatments, beyond growth parameters, it would seem necessary to examine more precise health biomarkers including those based on omics sciences, such as metabolomics, proteomics and metagenomics. Clinical Trial Registration The trial was registered with ( NCT05303077 ) on March 31, 2022, and lastly updated on April 7, 2022.
Background: At birth, human neonates are more likely to develop cholestasis and oxidative stress due to immaturity or other causes. We aimed to search for a potential association between bile acids profile, redox status, and type of diet in healthy infants. Methods: A cross-sectional, exploratory study enrolled 2-month-old full-term infants (n = 32). We measured plasma bile acids (total and conjugated), and red blood cell (RBC) oxidative stress biomarkers. The type of diet (breastfeeding, mixed, formula) was used as an independent variable. Results: Plasma total bile acids medium value was 14.80 µmol/L (IQR: 9.25-18.00). The plasma-conjugated chenodeoxycholic acid percentage (CDCA%) correlated significantly and negatively with RBCs membrane-bound hemoglobin percentage (MBH%) (r = -0.635, p < 0.01) and with RBC-oxidized glutathione (r = -0.403, p < 0.05) levels. RBC oxidative stress biomarkers (especially MBH%) were predictors of conjugated CDCA%, and this predictive ability was enhanced when adjusted for the type of diet (MBH, r = 0.452, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Our data suggest that the bile acid profile might play a role in the regulation of redox status (or vice versa) in early postnatal life. Eventually, the type of diet may have some impact on this process. Impact: The conjugated CDCA% in plasma is negatively correlated with biomarkers of RBC oxidative stress in healthy infants. Specific biomarkers of RBC oxidative stress (e.g. MBH, GSH, GSSG) may be promising predictors of conjugated CDCA% in plasma. The type of diet may influence the predictive ability of hit RBC oxidative stress biomarkers (e.g. MBH, GSH, GSSG). Our findings suggest a link between plasma bile acids profile and the RBC redox status in healthy infants, eventually modulated by the type of diet. The recognition of this link may contribute to the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies for neonatal cholestasis.
In developing countries like Nigeria, milk and dairy products which are major sources of calcium and phosphorous are rarely taken by most adults due to high cost. This therefore resulted in osteomalacia, osteoporosis and other related diseases to some elderly persons. Domestic birds which bones are rich in minerals, readily available and cheaper than mineral supplements become the next available option despite their hardness to chew. This study therefore investigated the calcium and phosphorous contents of commonly relished local, old layer and broiler chicken bone ashes and their ratios. Standard analytical procedures were used for the analyses while their ratios were calculated. The results revealed that their calcium content ranged from 30.42 to 49.01 mg/100g, phosphorous 17.67 to19.23 mg/100g and ratios 1.64 to 2.55. Old layers’ bones had the best dietary mineral content while local chickens’ bones had the least. Their ratios were higher than that recommended for human by the nutritionist for healthy and strong bone formation.
In this study, the levels of Al, As, Ca, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, P, Pb, Sr and Zn were determined in 56 composite samples of food aids using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). It also looked at the potential of food aids on mineral provision for pregnant and lactating women (PLW). The mean mineral contents in cereals were 46.3-378 mg kg⁻¹ for Ca, 24.6-64.4 mg kg⁻¹ for Fe, 2752-4072 mg kg⁻¹ for K, 774-1510 mg kg⁻¹ for Mg, and 14.1-26.1 mg kg⁻¹ for Zn. Cereals presented low dietary significance for K, Ca and Zn as a daily portion (450 g) could only provide between 5 and 69% of Adequate Intake (AI) or Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for PLW. Conversely, corn soya blend (CSB) and pulses appear to play a key role in mineral intakes. However, the existing daily ration for pulses demonstrated little importance to complement dietary K and Ca deficits. Fortunately, Target Hazard Quotient (THQ) values were low enough to guarantee no potential health risks associated with several toxic elements. Overall, it was observed that the food aids do not provide sufficient amount of selected minerals for PLW.
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Background Amino acid-based formula (AAF) is a relevant dietary option for non-breastfed children. The present study was designed to evaluate the body growth pattern in cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) children treated for 6 months with a new AAF. Methods This was an open-label, single arm study evaluating body growth pattern in immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated CMPA infants receiving a new AAF for 6 months. The outcomes were anthropometry (weight, length, head circumference), adherence to the study formula and occurrence of adverse events (AEs). Results Fifteen children [all Caucasian and born at term; 53.3% born with spontaneous delivery; 80% male; 80% with familial allergy risk; mean age (±SD) 3 ± 2.5 months at IgE-mediated CMPA diagnosis; mean age (±SD) 16.7 ± 5.9 months at enrolment, mean total serum IgE (±SD) 298.2 ± 200.4 kU/L] were included and completed the 6-month study. Data from fifteen age- and sex-matched healthy controls were also adopted as comparison. At baseline, all CMPA patients were weaned and were receiving the new AAF. All 15 patients completed the 6-month study period. For the entire CMPA pediatric patients’ cohort, from baseline to the end of the study period, the body growth pattern resulted within the normal range of World Health Organization (WHO) growth references and resulted similar to healthy controls anthropometric values. The formula was well tolerated. The adherence was optimal and no AEs related to AAF use were reported. Conclusions The new AAF ensured normal growth in subjects affected by IgE-mediated CMPA. This formula constitutes another suitable safe option for the management of pediatric patients affected by CMPA.
Introduction: International health institutions have implemented protocols and nutritional health policies in the promotion of health and brain development. However, these policies do not usually extend to preschool age, being a stage of important changes and very dynamic development. Therefore the objective of this work is to carry out a review of the information available about nutritional needs throughout the process of human development, emphasizing the main micronutrients, their role in development and what the evidence tells us about the effects of it lack. A review of scientific evidence and recommendations of international scientific societies has been carried out. Different nutrients are required for different parts of a baby's development, including Vitamin D and calcium for bone development, DHA and choline for brain development as well as iron, zinc, vitamins A, D, B12 and folate, which meet different important roles and whose deficiencies lead to serious health disorders. Childhood is a critical period in which the foundations for future well-being are laid. A good nutritional status during childhood and adolescence is vital for normal growth and development. However, studies in Spanish pediatric populations indicate a lack of micronutrients (especially vitamin D, E, folate, calcium, and magnesium) in the diet of more than half of participating children. There may be situations of risk of suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Appropriate supplementation can provide nutrients during periods of increased physical and mental exertion, illness, and when dietary intake is not optimal.
This review evaluates scientific data associated with the possibility that trans fatty acids compromise fetal and infant early development. Concerns have been triggered by research that has heightened our awareness of the importance of n3 and n6 fatty acids; shown that trans fatty acids inhibit 6 desaturation of linoleic acid; identified trans fatty acid isomers in fetal, infant, and maternal tissues; and reported an inverse association between the trans fatty acid content of tissue lipids and measures of growth and development. Animal studies provide little evidence that trans fatty acids influence growth, reproduction, or gross aspects of fetal development. However, these models may not have been appropriate for addressing all the subtle effects that influence development of human infant retinal, neural, or brain function. Human studies are hampered by the complexity of the interrelations among nutritional, genetic, and environmental factors and by ethical considerations that constrain the research design. Existing data have not established a causal relation between trans fatty acid intake and early development. Conclusions cannot be drawn from the possible association found between trans fatty acid exposure and lower n3 and n6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and growth because of confounding factors. Few studies addressed the question of whether trans fatty acids adversely affect human fetal growth. One study reported a correlation between the trans fatty acid content of plasma and birth weight of preterm infants and one study reported a relation between preterm births and the trans fatty acid content of maternal plasma. Limited associative data have addressed whether trans fatty acids adversely affect fetal and infant neurodevelopment and growth. The interpretation of existing research and development of recommendations should be done cautiously. Suggestions for research to clarify these issues are made.
The potential renal solute load (PRSL) of infant feedings is the sum of dietary nitrogen (expressed as mmol of urea, i.e., mg nitrogen divided by 28), sodium, potassium, chloride and phosphorus. The PRSL determines the renal solute load, and, therefore, the osmolar concentration of the urine. When water intake is reduced and/or water losses are increased, the renal concentrating ability may be exceeded, and negative water balance (dehydration) may ensue. Under these circumstances, feedings providing high PRSL lead more rapidly to dehydration than do feedings providing lower PRSL. On the basis of simulated clinical situations and epidemiologic data, it is concluded that conventional infant formulas (PRSL 135–177 mosmol/l, or 20–26 mosmol/100 kcal) provide a satisfactory margin of safety. A feeding providing the upper limits for concentrations of protein and electrolytes specified by the Food and Drug Administration rule does not afford a satisfactory margin of safety. It is recommended that the upper limit for protein content of infant formulas be decreased from 4.5 g/100 kcal to 3.2 g/100 kcal and that an upper limit for phosphorus concentration of infant formulas be set at 93 mg/100 kcal. Maximum PRSL will then be 221 mosmol/l (33 mosmol/100 kcal).
Part of the authoritative series on reference values for nutrient intakes , this new release establishes a set of reference values for dietary energy and the macronutrients: carbohydrate (sugars and starches), fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino ...