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EFSA issues draft opinion on nutritional requirements of baby milks

By Mark Astley+

25-Apr-2014
Last updated on 25-Apr-2014 at 15:20 GMT

Industry representative Specialised Nutrition Europe (SNE) has welcomed a draft European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Scientific Opinion that “recognized” the nutritional value of infant and follow-on formula products already on the market.

In its draft Scientific Opinion, Essential composition of infant and follow-on formulae, published yesterday, EFSA reviewed “in light of more recent evidence” its own 2003 findings on the essential requirements of infant and follow-on formulae.

The assessment, conducted by the EFSA Panel of Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) following a European Commission (EC) request, highlighted that there have been “no reports of any adverse effects associated with the use of formulae complying with the current specifications for micronutrients.”

Despite this, a number of recommendations were detailed by the EFSA Panel within the document.

Among its conclusions, the Panel claimed that it is “not necessary” to add arachidonic acid (ARA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), chromium, taurine, nucleotides, non-digestible oligosaccharides, probiotics or synbiotics to infant and follow-on formula products.

While in follow-on formula, “the addition of l-carnitine, inositol and choline is not necessary.”

It added that "it is not necessary to propose specific compositional criteria consumed after one year of age, as formulae consumed during the first year of life can continue to be used by young children."

SNE, which represents the interests of the specialised nutrition industry across the European Union (EU), welcomed these “proposed adjustments to the current compositional criteria.”

“We are pleased that the European Food Safety Authority has recognised the value of product currently on the market and their contribution to supporting the nutritional needs of infants and young children,” said SNE president, Roger Clarke.

The draft Opinion also concluded that cow’s milk, goat’s milk and isolated soy protein were “safe and suitable sources of protein” for use in infant and follow-on formula.

It also called for “other protein sources” to be “clinically evaluated” and suggested that the "safety and suitability of each formula containing protein hydrolysates should be established by clinical evaluation.”

EFSA has launched an open consultation on the draft Opinion.

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments by 29 May 2014.

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