Addressing allergenicity: Danone expands hypoallergenic infant formula range in China

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Danone has introduced new hypoallergenic infant formulas to the China market. ©Getty Images
Danone has introduced new hypoallergenic infant formulas to the China market. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Danone, China, Infant nutrition, Allergies

Danone has introduced two more hypoallergenic infant formula in China in view of growing demand in a country where cow’s milk allergies could affect up to seven per cent of the population.

During China International Import Expo (CIIE) held earlier this month, the company launched two new hypoallergenic infant formulas in China under the brand Neocate.

Infant formulas can be categorised into four types when it comes to their level of allergenicity.

Cow milk-based formula is considered the most allergenic, due to its intact protein structure, followed by partially hydrolysed formula, extensively hydrolysed formula, and then amino acid-based formula at the end of the spectrum.

Last year, Danone launched Neocate Junior, which is also China’s first hypoallergenic amino acid-based toddler formula.

The two new products launched this time round were extensively hydrolysed whey protein formula. Extensively hydrolysed formula consists of both peptides and amino acids. 

“For babies allergic to cow’s milk, their first choice should be nutritional amino acid-based formulas, which they should use for six months.

“After which, they should switch to a suitable extensively hydrolysed formula, this will help them gradually transit to a normal diet,” ​said Professor Xu Chun Di from Shanghai Jiao Tong University Ruijin Hospital’s paediatric department at the launch.

Both products also contain Syneo, a patented blend of Bifidobacterium breve ​M-16V, short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and long-chain FOS said to support the development of babies’ immune system.

The two new products are respectively meant for babies between 0 and 12 months old and for children up to 10 years old. 

These products are made in and imported from the Netherlands.  

“As the ‘hypoallergenic expert’, Neocate’s product range [in China] has become more holistic, fully covering the demand for amino acid-based formulas, extensively hydrolysed formula, and low-allergenicity complementary food for children between zero and 10 years old,” ​said Fang Fang, director of the childcare business unit at Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition.

Statistics have shown that the prevalence of cow milk allergy is about 2.5 per cent to seven per cent in China.

The two products will be first sold via Tmall Global and Leyou cross-border e-commerce.

Formula upgrades

On the other hand, Danone also showcased some upgraded products under its Aptamil Pro Futura brand.

One of the products, described as a “cesarbiotic”, is specially designed for babies born via c-section and contains Bifidobacterium breve ​M-16V and prebiotics FOS and GOS as prebiotics.

The pre/probiotic blend is said to help activate the immune defence of toddlers between one and three years old and were born via c-section.

To meet parents’ demand for formula that aids brain and eye development, Danone also introduced Aptamil Pro Futura Australia version. Aside from pre/probiotic blend, the formula also contains DHA, lutein and is suitable for children age one to three.

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