Follow-up Formula and Proprietary Foods (Baby Milk Powders)
Seven brands bought, tested, compared, and graded
"If a multinational company developed a product that was a nutritionally balanced and delicious food, doubled up as a wonder drug that both prevented and treated disease, cost almost nothing to produce, and could be delivered in qualities controlled by the consumers' need, the very announcement of their find would send their shares skyrocketing to the top of the stock market. The scientists who developed the product would win prizes and the wealth and influence of everyone involved would increase dramatically. Women have been producing such a miraculous substance, breast milk, since the beginning of human existence." - Gabrielle Palmer, The Politics of Breastfeeding
As per Word Health Organisation (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 fro 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 power companies are doing brisk business across the world. Baby-food packs es like toiletries and it seems that nowadays every house with a child mandatorily orders diapers and 'baby food'.
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 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.
You can see list of our CV Surveillance Series- Baby Milk Powders below, perform Side-by-Side comparison. If you need further help, do have a look at Conzumr Guides and Tips. Alternatively you can view all Baby Milk Powders to choose your own favourites.
Side by Side comparison
- Name of the material and trademark, if any
- Name and address of manufacturer
- Batch or code number
- Net weight in grams
- Date of manufacture
- List of ingredients
- Nutritional Claims
- Permitted additives
- Maximum retail price (MRP)
- Use before/ Expiry date
- Statutory declaration
- ISI marked and 'green dot' marking for vegetarian status
- Feed chart and direction for use and storage
Except Ensure and PediaSure, all brands had the necessary ISI marking. However, several of their claims turned out to be different from the tested results. Some of these findings are discussed here.