Infant formula is perhaps one of the most highly regulated foodstuffs in the world, notes Clare Naden of ISO in a post on the organisation’s web site, so checking the exact composition is a rigorous affair. ISO is developing a series of standards for verifying many of the ingredients, to demonstrate the product is safe for consumption and contains what it says on the tin. The latest one, ISO 21422 | IDF 242 for the determination of chloride content, has just been published.
Serving one of our most vulnerable population groups, Naden says, the manufacture of infant formula must adhere to tough regulations before it can arrive on supermarket shelves. Nutritional labelling is heavily regulated, often requiring conformation to the Codex Alimentarius, or Food Code, the international reference for food supplements.
Codex Alimentarius is the Joint Food Standards Programme established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), she points out. It develops harmonized international food standards that protect consumer health and promote fair practices in the food trade.
ISO, in cooperation with a number of international industry bodies, is developing a series of International Standards on validated methods of analysis for infant formula, designed to verify these components and thus demonstrate compliance to Codex standards.
What’s more, Naden continues, most of these standards have been adopted by Codex Alimentarius as reference and dispute resolution methods. One such standard is the recently published ISO 21422 | IDF 242, Milk, milk products, infant formula and adult nutritionals – Determination of chloride – Potentiometric titration method, which specifies a method for determining chloride in infant formula, milk and milk products.
Published jointly by ISO and the International Dairy Federation (IDF), ISO 21422 | IDF 242 is the result of close collaboration between ISO, the IDF and the independent standards developing organization AOAC INTERNATIONAL.
The experts involved in its creation include those from industry, regulatory bodies, commercial laboratories and academia, demonstrating a truly harmonized standard that can be used to meet labelling regulations all over the world.
Other standards in the series, currently in development, include:
+ ISO 21424 | IDF 243, Milk, milk products, infant formula and adult nutritionals – Determination of minerals and trace elements – Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) method; and
+ ISO 15151 | IDF 229, Milk, milk products, infant formula and adult nutritionals – Determination of minerals and trace elements – Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) method
ISO also has a wide range of other International Standards for verifying the contents of infant formula, including those for fatty acid composition (ISO 16958 | IDF 231); total iodine (ISO 20647 | IDF 234); vitamins A and E (ISO 20633); vitamin B12 (ISO 20634); vitamin C (ISO 20635); vitamin D (ISO 20636); myo-inositol (ISO 20637); nucleotides (ISO 20638); and pantothenic acid (ISO 20639).
ISO 21422 | IDF 242 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products, subcommittee SC 5, Milk and milk products, and is published jointly by ISO and the IDF, and separately by AOAC INTERNATIONAL. It is available from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.