Mérieux NutriSciences can support the entire Baby food industry’s needs
With their needs, in terms of food and nutrition, evolving with their growths, baby food products appear in different formats and are classified as following by the EU Regulation: infant formula, follow-on formula, processed cereal baby-food, other baby food, young-child formula.
Due to their vulnerable nature, baby food products are highly regulated. At Mérieux NutriSciences, we understand how crucial the health of these young consumers is. We have developed our services accordingly to support baby food industries (from testing to labelling, consulting and more).
Baby food: highly regulated food for highly vulnerable consumers
How baby food is made matters; babies are vulnerable consumers, who can quickly accumulate dangerous contaminants in their body and can more easily get infections due to their not-yet properly developed immune system.
For all these reasons, baby food manufacturers need to strictly meet all the quality standards and product specifications, which are severe with levels considerably reduced in comparison to non-baby food products.
Label claims and mandatory statements need to be supported by very specific and sensitive testing carried out by reliable and accredited laboratories, which can accurately quantify very low concentrations of contaminants.
During the past year, Baby food products have been recalled a few times. Hazards responsible for these RASFF alerts are of different types:
- Biological – Moulds and yeasts
- Chemical – PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)
- Miscellaneous – Foreign bodies and Allergens
Baby Food regulation: requirements and limits
Baby food encompasses different categories of products (infant formula, follow-on formula, processed cereal baby food, other baby food and young-child formula), specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of the infants growing into young children.
Generally speaking, baby formula and baby food have to ensure infants and young children the proper amount of safe bioavailable nutrients with a proper physiological effect; they have to comply with specific requirements in terms of composition, labelling rules and limits for contaminants, which are far below conventional ones.
Young child formula, which are destined to 1-3 years’ old children, are on the contrary not subjected to the same strict limitations and are often treated as vitamin-enriched foods (Reg. no. 1925/2006).
Babies and food allergies
Food allergy is a critical health issue, because a tiny amount of an allergen can cause a reaction that might be fatal.
Infants can develop intolerance or allergy. Globally, food allergies and intolerances affect 6-8% of children under 5 years, depending on age, geographic origin, and ethnicity, with a noticeable rise in West developed countries.
Infant diet plays a central role in the development of food allergy. Formula fed infants, for instance, can show allergic symptoms due to an intolerance to the proteins in food.In order to prevent childhood food allergies and dangerous health implications, it is of utmost importance that consumers know baby food composition and trust on reliable allergen testing, to ensure babies a safe nourishment.
Legal Bases and Guidelines in Europe
Mérieux NutriSciences: a global service for the baby food industry
The baby food industry needs reliable and accredited laboratories to ensure product safety, quality and adequate nutritional composition. To launch competitive baby food products on the market, it is also fundamental to draw sensory profiles with both judge panels and consumer tests, to be winning against competitors.
Mérieux NutriSciences provides a complete service covering analytical, regulatory and consulting needs.