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Infant, Baby & Young Children Nutrition

Asia Pacific

This is a regulated sector across the region with specific country and/or appropriate body regulations e.g. Codex Alimentarius. Regulations applying to infant, baby and young children nutrition denote the compositional, nutritional and labelling requirements for these foods, in addition to highlighting maximum contaminant and permitted microbiological levels. Regulations also highlight nutrition content and health claims that are permitted for this sector e.g. lactose free, gluten free.

The regulations are generally categorised as follows across the region:
  • Infant formulas
  • Older infant and young children formulas or complementary foods (including follow on formulas)
  • Processed and cereal based complementary foods for infants and young children formulas
  • Specialised formulations to meet the needs of infants and young children with specific need states or metabolic conditions
Product Definitions:
  • Infant formula means a breast milk substitute specially manufactured to satisfy, by itself, the nutritional requirements of infants during the first months of life up to the introduction of appropriate complementary feeding
  • Follow on formula means a food intended for use as a liquid part of the weaning diet for the infant from the 6th month on and for young children
  • Processed cereal based foods intended for feeding infants as a complementary food generally from the age of 6 months
Consumers in this category are:
  • The term infant means a person of not more than 12 months of age
  • The term young children means persons from the age of more than 12 months up to the age of three years (36 months)
Notable exceptions to other regions are:
  • The India Food Gazette differs in its definition of foods for young children. Indian regulations define young children up to 2 years of age instead of the max 3 years quoted across the region
  • Follow on formula and processed cereal based foods permit the use of specific flavours in these food categories only. Country regulations do not permit the use of flavours
Potential regulation changes currently underway:
  • There is a proposal to reform the Australia and New Zealand food standard codes for these food categories. A draft food regulatory measure has been prepared. The aim is to modernise the codes, which were generated in 2000 and bring them into line with international food regulations
  • The Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses continues to review the follow on formula standard and has a working group reviewing the compositional standards therein. This will be amended and updated on an on-going basis
  • The Codex Alimentarius Commission has made changes to the contaminants levels in this food category
    • Arsenic – adopted a max level in rice based foods for infants of 0.2 ppm
    • Lead – recommended that no more than 0.01 ppm of lead be permitted in infant formula

Europe

This is a regulated sector across the EU states and Russia. Regulations applying to infant, baby and young children nutrition denote the compositional, nutritional and labelling requirements for these foods in addition to outlining maximum contaminant and permitted microbiological levels. In some cases, regulations also highlight nutrition content and health claims that are permitted for this sector e.g. lactose free, gluten free.

The regulations are generally categorised as follows across the region:
  • Infant formula and follow on formula
  • Processed and cereal based complementary foods for infants and young children
  • Specialised formulations to meet the needs of infants and young children with specific need states or metabolic conditions
Product Definitions:
  • Infant formula means a breast milk substitute specially manufactured to satisfy, by itself, the nutritional requirements of infants during the first months of life up to the introduction of appropriate complementary feeding
  • Follow on formula means a food intended for use as a liquid part of the weaning diet for the infant from the 6th month on and for young children
  • Processed cereal based foods intended for feeding infants as a complementary food generally from the age of 6 months
Consumers in this category are:
  • The term infant means a person of not more than 12 months of age
  • The term young children means persons from the age of more than 12 months up to the age of three years (36 months)
Notable exceptions to other regions are:
  • Germany also has its own regulation, the Diatverordung
  • Russia has its own technical regulation on infant formula and foods for young children. The general age segregation is the same as the EU but Russia also has requirements of 1.5 – 3 years and for children under 2 years. This relates to branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and pesticide regulations
  • Russia also has a regulation section addressing food products intended for nutrition of children (i.e.nutrition for early age children from 0 to 3 years, nutrition of pre-school age children from 3 to 6 years and school-age children of 6 years and older)
Potential regulation changes currently underway:
  • Since July 20th 2016, the notion of foods for particular nutritional uses has been abolished. This is leading to changes in how such products are regulate in the EU over the next few years.
  • Updated EU legislation on infant and follow on formula will come into effect from 2020. The legislation will have new composition, labelling and food safety rules.
  • The EU Commission has decreed that specific legislation on young child formulae (IMF products 1-3 year olds) is not necessary and such products should be regulated under general food law. This is resulting in legal uncertainty for this sector in terms of composition and labelling of these products.
  • Proposed legislation on processed cereal-based food and baby food was rejected by the European Parliament over concerns that sugar levels were too high. The EU Commission have to propose new legislation for this product group and have asked EFSA for scientific advice on the composition of such products.
  • Food safety issues of significance for this product group currently include perchlorates, chlorates, 2 & 3MCPDs and GE. The setting of maximum limits for these substances is under discussed at EU level.
  • Revisions will be made to pesticides rules for products destined for infants and young children.

Updated July 22, 2016

Middle East and Africa

This is a regulated sector across the Gulf States and Africa. Regulations applying to infant, baby and young children nutrition denote the compositional, nutritional and labelling requirements for these foods in addition to highlighting maximum contaminant and permitted microbiological levels. Regulations also highlight nutrition content and health claims that are permitted for this sector e.g. lactose free, gluten free.

The regulations are generally categorised as follows across the region:
  • Gulf States
    • GS354/1994 on infant food based on milk. This standard is concerned with infant foods based on milk in liquid or powdered form intended for use as substitutes for breast milk
    • GS677/2008 on infant and children food: processed cereal-based foods for infants and young children
    • GSO 355/2011 on canned baby food
    • GSO 2106/2010 on infant formula for special medical purposes intended for infants. The standard is an adaptation of the codex standard CAC 72/2007 on infant formula and formula for special medical purposes intended for infants
  • South Africa
    • Regulation no. R991 relates to foodstuffs for infants and young children. Included are infant and follow on formulas, complementary foods and foods formulated for the management of specific medical conditions
Product Definitions:
  • Infant formula means a breast milk substitute specially manufactured to satisfy, by itself, the nutritional requirements of infants during the first months of life up to the introduction of appropriate complementary feeding
  • Follow on formula means a food intended for use as a liquid part of the weaning diet for the infant from the age of 6 months and for young children
  • Processed cereal based foods intended for feeding infants as a complementary food generally from the age of 6 months
Consumers in this category are:
  • The term infant means a person of not more than 12 months of age
  • The term young children means persons from the age of more than 12 months up to the age of three years (36 months)

North America

This is a regulated sector across North America with specific country and/or appropriate body regulations. Regulations applying to infant nutrition denote the compositional, nutritional and labelling requirements for these foods. Regulations also highlight nutrition content and health claims that are permitted for this sector e.g. lactose free, gluten free.

The regulations are generally categorised as follows across the region:
  • Infant formulas
  • Processed cereal based foods for babies and young children (Canada)
Product Definitions:
  • Infant formula means a breast milk substitute specially manufactured to satisfy, by itself, the nutritional requirements of infants during the first months of life up to the introduction of appropriate complementary feeding
Consumers in this category are:
  • The term infant means a person of not more than 12 months of age
Notable exceptions to other regions are:
  • There appears to be limited regulations available in this region
  • Canada has specific labelling requirements for foods consumed by children under 2 years of age and must be bilingual
  • Claims are listed in section B.01.503 (2) of the FDR
  • Content claims related to macro and micronutrients however cannot be made on foods for children under 2 years related to folate
  • Health claims cannot be made if they are disease risk reduction or therapeutic claims. However acceptable claims in Canada include: Protein helps build antibodies and helps build and repair body tissues
  • All new infant formulas require pre-market notification to the authorities in Canada

Latin America

This is a regulated sector across the region with specific country and/or appropriate body regulations. Regulations applying to infant, baby and young children nutrition denote the compositional, nutritional and labelling.

The regulations are generally categorised as follows across the region:
  • Infant formulas
  • Follow on formula for infants and young children
  • Processed and cereal based foods for infants and young children formulas
  • Other foods for infants and young children
  • Specialised formulations to meet the needs of infants and young children with specific need states or metabolic conditions
Product Definitions:
  • Infant formula means a breast milk substitute specially manufactured to satisfy, by itself, the nutritional requirements of infants during the first months of life up to the introduction of appropriate complementary feeding
  • Follow on formula means a food intended for use as a liquid part of the weaning diet for the infant from the age of 6 months and for young children
  • Processed cereal based foods intended for feeding infants as a complementary food generally from the age of 6 months
Consumers in this category are:
  • The term infant means a person of not more than 12 months of age
  • The term young children means persons from the age of more than 12 months up to the age of three years (36 months)

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