Elemental content of commercial ‘ready to-feed’ poultry and fish based infant foods in the UK
Zand, Nazanin | Chowdhry, Babur Z. | Wray, David S. | Pullen, Frank S. | Snowden, Martin J.
The study reported herein was conducted in order to establish the concentration of 20 essential and non-essential elements in a representative range of commercial infant foods in the UK targeted for infants aged between 6–12months. The primary objective of this study was to examine the nutritive values and safety of such complementary infant foods on the UK market in relation to dietary and safety guidelines. Quantitative analyses were conducted on eight different products representing four popular brands (poultry and fish based) of ready to-feed infant foods currently on sale in the UK. Six essential elements, namely: calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc were determined by ICP-OES. The concentrations of six essential trace elements (selenium, molybdenum, cobalt, copper, chromium, manganese) and eight non-essential, potentially toxic, elements (arsenic, barium, nickel, cadmium, antimony, lead, mercury, aluminium) were determined by ICP-MS due to the higher sensitivity required. The total daily intakes of essential and trace elements from the consumption of such products were then estimated, based on the results of this study, and were referenced to the Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) values and safety guidelines for 6–9months old children. Based on these comparisons the concentration of essential, except for potassium, and trace elements were found to be inadequate in meeting the RNI. In terms of the risk of exposure to toxicity, the concentration of toxic elements in ready to feed products analysed in this study, were not considered to be of concern. These results suggest that commercial complementary infant foods on the UK market may not contain minimum levels of minerals required for labelling declaration of micronutrient content (Commission Directive 2006/125/EC). This provides opportunities and scope for product optimisation to improve their nutritive value.Show more [+] Less [-]