Eight new analytical methods intended to test vitamins and other nutritional components of the infant formula will help to verify if what declared by the producers about the content is true. Milk for children needs to contain essential nutritional components (such as vitamins and minerals) for a proper growth and a balanced phycophysical development. This is the reason why the quality of the product is monitored by aithorities and regulated by the Codex Alimentarius.
In order to verify that all the needed nutritional components are contained, it is necessary to use specific analytical methods. There are several and they don’t provide uniform results. This lack of uniformity at the international level causes some problems for the cross-border commerce. It is true that some methods are listed and described in specific section of the Codex, but there are some old ones, not valid for infant formula and, often, not accepted globally.
The project SPIFAN (Stakeholder Panel on Infant Formula and Adult Nutritionals), leaded by AOAC International (No-profit association which aim is to spread standard analytical methods) in cooperation with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and the International Dairy Federation (IDF), which is facing the issue. Among other things, the publishing of armonised ISO standars is on schedule. This publication will help producers and official laboratories to check using uniformed methodologies. The cooperation has as a result eight methods to test the following ingredients: vitamin A and E, vitamin B12, inositol, iodine, fat acids, nucleotides, pantothenic acid and micro-traces of minerals (such as chromium, selenium and molybdenum).
These new standars ISO will be proposed to the Codex Alimentarius as “Type II methods“(that is reference methods) in order to transform them in “judge” of the international disputes on discordant results on test. It means that they should be, in the future, the only valid and universally recognised methods to analyse milk for small children.