Imported baby food is essentially specialised nourishment with a highly-balanced composition intended to closely resemble breast milk, the gold standard. Today’s baby food market offers a broad variety of items in an effort to meet the varying demands of infants and young children in their formative years.
The majority of infant feeding items are made from cow’s milk, which differs greatly from human milk in many ways. Therefore, infant formula humanisation is given a lot of attention. The most evident modifications to the final formula composition include adjusting the casein-to-whey protein ratio and raising the -lactalbumin content while lowering the -lactoglobulin concentration. One of the potential side effects of infant formula is allergy to cow’s milk, which may be avoided by using hypoallergenic bovine protein hydrolysate, for which new technologies are being developed to improve flavour and allergenicity.
It is realised that minor components such as oligosaccharides, nucleotides, proteins and peptides have an important function in mothers’ milk and therefore technologies are developed to obtain biologically active ingredients such as bio-active peptides. Processing technologies, used to ensure the highest microbial quality of infant food, have great impact on the individual ingredients. Therefore new processing technologies such as ultra high temperature ultra short-time heating technologies and high-pressure technologies are developed and evaluated. This chapter deals with various aspects of developments of new ingredients and technologies to improve infant food.
Recent research has demonstrated that baby food made with rice and rice-based ingredients had higher levels of both total and inorganic arsenic (Meharg et al., 2008b; Ljung et al., 2011). It is well recognised that these factors raise newborn morbidity and death. In addition, Wang et al. (2012) found S. aureus in newborn rice cereal distributed in the Chinese province of Shaanxi, and several S. aureus isolates showed expression of multiple toxin genes as well as resistance to various antibiotics. Additionally, Richards et al. (2005) showed that Enterobacter sakazakii, a pathogenic microbe known to cause sickness in preterm neonates, babies, and children from three days to four years of age, may encourage luxuriant development when added to reconstituted infant rice cereal.
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