Babies are the most vulnerable consumers and they deserve the very best. Their diet plays a huge role in ensuring a healthy start to life, vital not only to support growth and development, but also to ensure optimal health outcomes later in life. Human milk is specifically suited to infants, both in its nutritional composition and in the bioactive factors that promote survival and healthy development.
Arla Foods Ingredients supports WHO’s recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. However, not all mothers can, or have the opportunity to breastfeed, making it important to give them the best alternative.The selection of an infant formula is, therefore, one of the most important decisions a parent or guardian will make on the child’s behalf.
We are committed to bring infant formulas closer to providing the best alternative to human milk by identifying, developing and documenting the benefits of bovine milk ingredients that can narrow this gap. Understanding and identifying essential components from human and bovine milk is important to develop the best nutritional strategy for formula-fed infants.
Nutrients in human milk perform three major roles: as a source of energy, delivering structural building blocks and providing bioactive components. These all play a role in our focus areas:
- Cognitive development and performance
- Gastrointestinal health
- Allergy treatment and prevention
- Low protein formula to reduce the risk of obesity in later life
At Arla Foods Ingredients, we have developed a range of scientifically documented ingredients that closely mirror key functionalities of human milk. When used in infant formula, these ingredients contribute to the healthy growth and development of formula-fed infants.
In vitro testing is a natural part of our ongoing product development, paving the way for clinical studies of specific applications. Only by comprehensive testing can we be sure to provide infants with the best possible substitute for human milk. To ensure an objective scientific foundation within infant nutrition, we compile our documentation in collaboration with universities and respected pediatricians.
Our driving force is our commitment to meet the needs of infants. We continuously strive to improve our ingredient portfolio by investing in research and development of new fractions of milk proteins. We have also been the first to market with a number of milk-based innovative ingredients. For example we offer an MFGM ingredient with clinically proven cognitive effects, and we hold the patent for osteopontin, both important components of breast milk.
Arla Foods Ingredients supports the WHO recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life and continued breastfeeding up to the age of two or beyond in combination with nutritionally appropriate complementary foods.