Nutritional labelling of infant formulas is a heavily regulated area, meaning tight rules around the nutrients they contain.

In this context, it is important to note that the specialists of the International Organization for Standardization ISO have created a whole series of industry-recognized voluntary standards to determine the presence of such nutrients in mixtures and their concentration. The series is constantly updated and expanded. Its next element has just been published.

To enable the verification of compliance to labelling, a number of ISO International Standards were developed as part of the SPIFAN project (Stakeholder Panel on Infant Formula and Adult Nutritionals), managed by AOAC INTERNATIONAL in cooperation with ISO and the International Dairy Federation (IDF). This project led to the development of standard method performance requirements and methods of analysis for 20 or more priority nutrients in infant formula and adult nutritionals.

The latest in this series is ISO 23443, Infant formula and adult nutritionals – Determination of β-carotene, lycopene and lutein by reversed-phase ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (RP-UHPLC). Lutein, β-carotene and lycopene are among the carotenoids present in human milk and are often added to infant formula and adult nutritionals, with lutein being important for vision and cognitive function and β-carotene providing provitamin A activity.

Erik Konings, Convenor of the working group that developed the standards, emphasyzed that these standards provide an effective way of demonstrating compliance with national and international regulations as they represent a globally harmonized method of testing in line with other standards-developing organizations in the sector, such as AOAC International and the IDF.

ISO 23443 and the other standards in the series were developed by working group WG 14, Vitamins, carotenoids and other nutrients, of technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products, the secretariat of which is held jointly by AFNOR and ABNT, ISO’s members for France and Brazil. They are available from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.


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