NIU’s Global Round-Up: More infant milk formulators are focusing their efforts on gut and brain health, breast milk linked to baby growth, and more

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

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Getty Images

Related tags Formula milk HMO Breastfeeding Baby food microbiome

What’s happened across the Nutra-verse over the past seven days? Stay on top of things with our weekly round-up of key news from across the globe.


Breast milk concentrations linked to baby growth at age five

A new study from University of Turku in Finland and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine found  a link between breast milk (HMO) concentrations and infant weight and body composition.

Researchers examined data from 802 mothers and their children who took part in the longitudinal Steps to Healthy Development of Children (STEPS) study.  As part of the study, children were monitored from birth to age 5.

Results showed that maternal breast milk composition three months after delivery was associated with height and weight during the first five years of life.

"We were surprised by the magnitude of the association,"​ said senior author Professor Lars Bode of UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence.

According to Bode, the study is an example of how data can help guide the development of breast milk blends for different products promoting health.

"We could tailor HMO composition in products based on actual scientific evidence and desired outcomes,” ​he said. “Much like personalised medicine."


China infant food standards

Authorities seek public consultation for new safety rules

The Chinese authorities are seeking comment from the public regarding new food safety standards. Authorities drafted several infant food items, including liquid formula, powder formula and infant food.

The maximum residue limit of contaminants in food was adjusted, according to the food safety standard GB2762. The maximum amount of lead residue permitted in liquid infant formula was decreased from 0.02mg/kg to 0.01mg/kg – one-eighth of the amount permitted in infant formula powder.

Latin America

Digestion is a key driver for the LATAM nutrition markets: Mintel

More and more infant milk formulators are focusing their efforts on gut and brain health by investing and exploring ingredients, patents, and launches in that arena. 

According to market intelligence provider Mintel’s report on vitamins and supplements, infant and children’s nutrition is an accessible and opportunistic market in the gut and brain health area. 

Rick Miller, a leading analyst in the food and drink sector told Mintel that nearly 70% of the global share of patent inventions focused on infant formula centers around alleviating gut-related problems or highlighting the engagement between the gut and the brain. 

The infant milk formula segment is offering increasingly personalized nutrition options by using genomic innovations to explore DNA and develop products for mothers and their kin.

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