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Nestlé Spain develops first infant formula with two breast milk oligosaccharides

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By Jim Cornall+

Last updated on 05-Jul-2017 at 12:55 GMT2017-07-05T12:55:42Z

Nestlé has introduced the first formula with two oligosaccharides identical to those in breast milk. Pic: ©iStock/magone
Nestlé has introduced the first formula with two oligosaccharides identical to those in breast milk. Pic: ©iStock/magone

After a decade of research, Nestlé has developed the first formula for infants with two oligosaccharides identical to those found in breast milk.

Spain is the first country in the world to start using this product. A few months ago, some hospitals and clinics started to use the product, and it will now be available in Spanish pharmacies.

A Nestlé spokesperson told DairyReporter the product is called Nan Optipro Supreme; it retails at between €22-€24 ($24.90-$27.18).

The spokesperson said Nestlé will be rolling out infant formula with HMOs globally in the next few years.

Role of oligosaccharides

Oligosaccharides are the third most abundant solid component in breast milk, after fat and lactose. They play a key role in the development and well-being of the baby, playing a decisive role in the immature infant's immune system and promoting a healthy intestinal flora.

Although oligosaccharides in breast milk have been studied for nearly a century, Nestlé is the first company to replicate and produce two human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) molecules for infant formula.

The new ingredients have been positively evaluated by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) and have been approved by the European Commission and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Reduction of bronchitis and fewer antibiotics

Clinical research has shown that formula with these HMOs not only ensures adequate growth, but also helps to make the composition of newborns’ gut flora more similar to that of breastfed babies.

The study also found infants given the new formula had a reduction in the number of potentially pathogenic bacteria, which could explain the lower number of respiratory infections observed, as well as decreased need to use antibiotics and antipyretics.

In spite of the new formula, Nestlé said it supports the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation that pregnant women and those who have just given birth need to be informed of the benefits of and superiority of breastfeeding, as this is the way optimal to nourish a baby and protect it from disease.

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