Koletzko, Berthold; Shamir, Raanan; Ashwell, Margaret
Quality and Safety Aspects of Infant Nutrition.
In: Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, No. 3: pp. 179-184
Quality and safety aspects of infant nutrition are of key importance for child health, but oftentimes they do not get much attention by health care professionals whose interest tends to focus on functional benefits of early nutrition. Unbalanced diets and harmful food components induce particularly high risks for untoward effects in infants because of their rapid growth, high nutrient needs, and their typical dependence on only one or few foods during the first months of life. The concepts, standards and practices that relate to infant food quality and safety were discussed at a scientific workshop organized by the Child Health Foundation and the Early Nutrition Academy jointly with the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and a summary is provided here. The participants reviewed past and current issues on quality and safety, the role of different stakeholders, and recommendations to avert future issues. It was concluded that a high level of quality and safety is currently achieved, but this is no reason for complacency. The food industry carries the primary responsibility for the safety and suitability of their products, including the quality of composition, raw materials and production processes. Introduction of new or modified products should be preceded by a thorough science based review of suitability and safety by an independent authority. Food safety events should be managed on an international basis. Global collaboration of food producers, food-safety authorities, paediatricians and scientists is needed to efficiently exchange information and to best protect public health. Copyright (C) 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel