Infant Milk Formulas



Milk is the most important nutritional source for newborns and infants during the initial months of their lives. Breast milk is healthy for infants as it is easily digestible. Apart from its nutritional value, breast milk is known to have a positive impact on infants’ growth and development as it provides biochemical and immunological components including proteins, cytokines and hormones. Breast milk also decreases the risk of diarrhea, and morbidity from respiratory tract and urinary tract infections. In addition, breast feeding helps mothers to regain pre-pregnancy body weight and to return the uterus to its normal size and shape. In a few cases, however, breastfeeding is not possible due to conditions associated with the modern era such as malnutrition, the absence of the mother, insufficient lactation, food allergies and other maternal health issues. Because of these problems, infant milk formula may be preferred as an alternative, and is manufactured by industries to mimic the nutritional value of breast milk. Infant formulas, baby formulas or baby milk commonly use cow’s milk or soymilk as a base with added nutritional supplements. Nevertheless, infants fed with formula are at a higher risk from acute otitis media, asthma, type 1 and 2 diabetes, eczema, lower respiratory tract infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and obesity. This article reviews human breast milk and problems associated with breast feeding, the need for infant formulas as an alternative form of nutrition, different types of infant formulas, the health benefits and risks of infant formulas, guidelines for the manufacture of infant formulas, and the global market.


Breast feeding Clinical trials Formula types Global market 



The authors would like to thank the VIT University (Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India) for their ceaseless support and motivation.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instrumental & Food Analysis Laboratory, Industrial Biotechnology Division, School of Biosciences and TechnologyVellore Institute of Technology (VIT)VelloreIndia
  2. 2.Instrumental & Food Analysis Laboratory, Industrial Biotechnology Division, School of Bioscience & TechnologyVellore Institute of Technology (VIT)VelloreIndia

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