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Potential risks for children associated with the introduction of a fat (consumption) reduction factor
Infant formula and milk
Infant formula is sold pre-packaged either as a dry powder, as a liquid concentrate, or as ready-
to-feed milk and formula. In the case of milk and ready-to-feed infant formulae, the FRF is not
applicable because these foods all contain less than 20% fat. In the case of dry powdered
formulae or liquid concentrates, even if the standard FRF for adults were to be applied to the dry
powder or concentrate to assess compliance of the packaged product with any SML, the large
dilution with water (typically 1:7) to make it ready-to-feed would ensure that the concentration
in the product as consumed by the infant would be far below the respective SML.
Pre-packaged baby foods
As they mature, infants consume smaller quantities of formula as their intake of weaning foods
increases. Pre-packaged baby foods do not contain more than 20% fat. For example, in a
Europe-wide survey of 248 samples of pre-packaged baby foods purchased from 12 countries,
the highest fat content was 5.8% [Fantoni and Simoneau, 2003]. Consequently, the FRF would
not be applicable for any packaging materials for these foods nor to materials and articles used
in the home for preparing and feeding these foods.
Other foods
Some of the foods prepared by the carer for infants and children are prepared from ingredients
that contain more than 20% fat. Examples include meals prepared using cheese, meat or poultry
that was purchased packaged in plastic films and trays. For these, the FRF would be applied to
the packaging. Hence there is a need to examine the quantity of these fatty foods that may be
consumed by older infants and children.
Estimates of fat consumption by older infants and children
Infants and children have a higher intake of energy, on a bodyweight basis, than adults and the
fraction of this energy that is derived from fats is also higher for infants and children compared
to adults. Recommended intake for infants and young children is 35 to 40% of energy from fats
versus 25 to 30% for adults [SCF, 1993].
As an example, fat consumption can be calculated for a 12-month-old infant using an energy
requirement for such infants of 1000 kcal / day and with 40% of this energy requirement