Low allergen content of commercial baby foods

Merryn J. Netting, Michael S. Gold, Debra J. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: Introduction of allergenic solid foods, especially peanut and hen's egg reduces the risk of food allergy development in early childhood. Ideally, parents will offer their infants home-prepared foods; however, many rely on the availability of convenient ready to purchase infant foods. This audit aimed to assess the major food allergen content of commercial infant foods. Methods: Infant foods available for sale in 2019 in Australia were the focus of this audit. The major food allergens investigated were peanut, tree nuts, hen's egg, cows milk, wheat, fish, shellfish, soy, sesame and lupin. Websites of infant food manufacturers and major supermarkets were used to identify ingredient lists of infant foods available for purchase. Where ingredients listings were unavailable this information was sourced directly from the product labels in the supermarket. Results: Fourteen companies were identified, manufacturing over 251 foods specifically for the infants aged less than 1 year of age. Although there were many choices available containing wheat (27 products) and cows milk proteins (73 products), none contained peanut, tree nuts, sesame, shellfish or lupin. Conclusions: Despite infant feeding advice encouraging early introduction to food allergens, of 251 commercial baby foods surveyed only 1% contained egg and none contained peanut, the most common food allergies in young Australian infants. This low food allergen content may be disadvantageous for infants fed mostly commercial infant foods as they are unlikely to be exposed to sufficient amounts of the major food allergens on a regular basis during infancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1613-1617
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume56
Issue number10
Early online date2 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

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