Thermal Processing Contaminants in Infant Formulas

Breast milk is generally recognized as an excellent nutrition source for the growth and development of newborn and infants. However, from twentieth century, there is an increasing number of mothers who decides to rely on an alternative way to feed their babies. Hence, great effort has been taken to infant formulas in order to mimic the component of breast milk and possess its functionality as close as possible. Compared to other milk products, infant formulas are more likely to suffer from protein degradation or modifications during high temperature processing because of the specific formulation, leading to the presence of chemical contaminants such as Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) and 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol esters (3-MCPDEs). Babies are a vulnerable and sensitive group of consumers, thus it is of utmost relevant to minimize their exposure to these chemical contaminants via infant formula.

The aim of this topic is obtain more insights into the formation of processing contaminants, mainly CML and 3-MCPDEs in infant formulas. It will cover investigating their occurrence, establishing kinetic models and finding possible mitigation strategies.

Doing a survey on different types of infant formulas that are available on the Dutch market. Finding out the precursors and key intermediates which contribute to the formation of CML and 3-MCPDE. Analysing the content of these contaminants by HPLC-MS/MS or GC-MS. Developing kinetic models for the formation of these contaminants.

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