Profeco: what are the milk formulas that contain palm oil and why it is advisable not to consume them

Although it is important that in the first months of life, babies are fed with breast milk, there are circumstances in which it is advisable to use formula.

The Federal Consumer Protection Office (Profeco), for the last edition of the month of april of the Consumer Magazine, analyzed 18 milk formulas and warned that some of these contain palm oil, whose farm has severe damage to the environment. “Its large-scale cultivation in countries such as Indonesian and Malaysian has caused the destruction of large tropical forests and consequently has endangered orangutans, gibbons, Sumatran tigers, rhinoceroses, elephants and tapirs”, reads the publication of the Consumer Magazine.

“Food during the first year of life is of vital importance. In this period we need the nutrients in their fair portion and composition to guarantee the proper development of tissues, organs and functions. This is possible thanks to the breastmilk which is also rich in antibodies, thus strengthening the baby’s immune system”, it is pointed out, however, Under certain circumstances, some parents choose to include milk formulas in their babies’ diets. In this sense, the prophet Remember that infant formulas do not exceed breast milk, and if they are included in the baby’s diet, their choice of product must be under medical guidance and the product packaging must indicate this.

“To select the type of formula, you must analyze the particular situation of the baby and thus offer him a food according to his health based on your doctor’s recommendations, since each formula has a specific composition and characteristics,” says Profeco.

Milk formulas are made from various ingredients, which are: dairy products, vegetable oils, prebiotics, probiotics, fatty acids, starches, vitamins and minerals, and carbohydrates.

Profeco analyzed 18 brands of infant formulas.
Profeco analyzed 18 brands of infant formulas.

For the study, Profeco analyzed 18 brands of milk formulas, of which, 13 resulted with palm oil; these were:

– Alula SMA gold

-Efamily Premium

– Frisolac gold

– Organic Hipp Cambiotic

– Organic Holle

– Infacare

– Natu Baby

– Nestle NAN optimal pro

– Nestlé Nidal Baby

– Novamil

– Novamil AC

– Nutrilon Premium +

– Well beginnings

On the other hand, the brands that resulted without palm oil, which were only five, are: Kabrita, organic Holle based on goat milk, NutriBaby Premium, Abbot similac 1 and Alpha pro.

Despite this, all the brands complied with what was on their labeling and what Profeco analyzes, which was:

They meet the standard for infant formulas: All the products analyzed comply with the provisions of NOM-131-SSA1-2012.

They comply in net content: none of the formulas analyzed presented problems in the net content declared on its label.

They are truthful in their information: the formulas analyzed are truthful in terms of the consumer information on their label.

They comply in their sanitary quality: all the formulas analyzed by Profeco complied with not containing pathogenic microorganisms, such as salmonella, which can cause diarrhea.

The difference is in what they add: Profeco reported that the brands differ from each other by the addition of ingredients, such as fatty acids, prebiotics and probiotics or amino acids allowed by the standard to nourish the baby.

The exploitation of palm oil has had a strong environmental and social impact.  Sep 29, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan/
The exploitation of palm oil has had a strong environmental and social impact. Sep 29, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan/

The palm oil is displacing hydrogenated fats, that have been shown to be harmful to health. However, this oil is very rich in saturated fats, Therefore, it is far from being an ideal alternative from the point of view of nutritional balance and it is preferable not to consume it in large quantities.

Its cultivation in Indonesia and Malaysia, the two countries that concentrate 85% of its world production, has had a strong environmental and social impact. Other palm oil exporting countries are Papua New Guinea, Colombia, Thailand, Cambodia, Brazil, Mexico and West Africa.


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