Follow-up Formula and Proprietary Foods
(Baby Milk Powders) Seven brands bought, tested, compared, and graded
“Ifamultinationalcompanydevelopedaproductthatwasanutritionallybalancedanddelicious food,doubledupasawonderdrugthatbothpreventedandtreateddisease,costalmostnothing toproduce,andcouldbedeliveredinquantitiescontrolledbytheconsumers’needs ,thevery announcementoftheirfindwouldsendtheirsharesskyrocketingtothetopofthestockmarket.The scientistswhodevelopedtheproductwouldwinprizesandthewealthandinfluenceofeveryone involvedwouldincreasedramatically.Womenhavebeenproducingsuchamiraculoussubstance, breastmilk,sincethebeginningofhumanexistence."~GabriellePalmer,ThePoliticsofBreastfeeding
As per World Health Organization (WHO), complementary foods should be added to the diet of a child only when breast milk is no longer enough to meet the child’s nutritional needs. The transition from exclusive breastfeeding to family foods, referred to as ‘complementary feeding’, typically covers the period from 6 months to 18–24 months of age.
Another fact is that complementary foods are also being used as the weaning diet for infants after six months, or even earlier in some cases. Not surprisingly, follow- up formula milk or baby food powder companies are doing brisk business across the
world. Baby-food packs sell like toiletries and it seems that nowadays every house with a child mandatorily orders diapers and ‘baby foods’.
Team Consumer Voice listed out seven brands of follow-up formula milk including two proprietary foods that are commonly bought across the country and found out everything about them that a consumer needs to know.
The Indian Standard IS 15757: 2007 has been formulated on such complementary foods. The standard is to ensure that the composition of the product is such that it is nutritionally adequate to contribute to normal growth and development of infants at the weaning stage after the age of six months and up to the age of two years.
The product comes under BIS mandatory certification scheme, which means that no product
The complementary food should be packed in a clean, hermetically sealed metal container (IS 11078) or in a flexible pack so as to protect them from deterioration. In case plastic material is used for flexible packaging, only food-grade plastic shall be used (IS 10171). The product has to be packed in nitrogen or a mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The product shall be packed in quantities as stipulated under Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules. All brands were packed as per the legal requirements.
The following details are necessary on each package: a) Name of the material and trademark, if any b) Name and address of manufacturer c) Batch or code number d) Net weight in grams e) Date of manufacture f) List of ingredients g) Nutritional claims h) Permitted additives
i) Maximum retail price (MRP)
j) Use before/Expiry date
k) Statutory declaration
l) ISI mark and ‘green dot’ marking for vegetarian status
m) Feed chart and direction for use and storage necessary ISI marking.
However, several of their claims turned out to be different from the test results. Some of these findings are discussed here.
The brands were tested to see how much the fat (in grams) was per 100 grams. As per Indian Standard and FSSAI, the fat should mandatorily be a minimum 18 per cent and a maximum 27 per cent by mass. the declared values on the packets and the values found in our test results, there was nothing to be alarmed about as the values obtained were within permissible limits. At 24.4 per cent, the highest fat was found in Pedia Sure, followed by Lactogen at 19.36 per cent.
Total milk protein
As per Indian Standard and FSSAI, the protein should be a minimum 13.5 per cent and a maximum 24.75 per cent by mass. declared values on the packets and the values given by the actual test results. Again, there was nothing to be alarmed about as the values obtained were within permissible limits. per cent in Dexolac, and the lowest at 14.35 per cent in Lactogen.
When prepared with the instructions for use, 100 millilitres of the ready-for-consumption product should provide not less than 60 kilo calories and not more than 85 kilo calories. value was found in Ensure (proprietary food), while the lowest content of the same was observed in Dexolac.
As per Indian Standard, the product shall contain nutritionally available carbohydrates suitable for the feeding of the older infant and young child in such quantities as to adjust the product to the energy density. maximum carbohydrate content at 65.86 per cent was found in Ensure, and the lowest at 54.94 per cent was in Pedia Sure.
The accompanying table gives a fair idea about the cheapest and costliest brands. Considering the unit price per 100 grams, Dexolac is the cheapest brand and Pedia Sure is the costliest, followed by Ensure and Similac.
can sell without obtaining a BIS certificate.The certificate is given after thorough testing of the product. It may be noted that Ensure and PediaSure are proprietary foods and hence exempted from mandatory requirement.