Updated recommendations on infant and follow-on formula

Tuesday, 29 July, 2014

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has updated its advice on formulas for infants and toddlers (known as follow-on formula). The recommendations are included in a Scientific Opinion which reviews advice provided by the Scientific Committee on Food in 2003, taking into account more recent evidence.

The EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies recommends minimum and maximum levels of energy for infants (up to one year old) of 60 kcal per 100 mL of formula and 70 kcal per 100 mL respectively.

The recommended fat and carbohydrate amounts are not too dissimilar to those in the current regulations. However, the panel has proposed that the maximum for protein be reduced from 3 g/100 kcal in infant formula and 3.5 g/100 kcal in follow-on formula to 2.5 g/100 kcal in formula based on milk protein, and to 2.8 g/100 kcal in formula containing isolated soy protein or hydrolysed protein.

The panel decided on these figures as it considered there is no evidence of a physiological need for such high protein intakes and because current protein intakes are well above requirements.

The Scientific Opinion also stated that there is no need to add arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, non-digestible oligosaccharides, probiotics or synbiotics, chromium, fluoride, taurine and nucleotides to infant and follow-on formula. It also suggested that the safety and suitability of formula containing protein hydrolysates should be established by clinical evaluation in the target population prior to use.

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