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The nutritional value and essence of different milk formula substitutes

The last 50 years have brought about the most substantial progress in improving the composition of breast milk substitutes ever made in history. In this 21st century, infant formula manufacturers have continued to make efforts to develop better breast milk than ever before. Efforts are currently underway to identify and replicate useful trace elements and to conduct significant research regarding the addition of immune actives and enzymes that will make formulations even better. But usually, here are some formulas that already exist that have good nutritional values.

Cow’s milk-based formulas


• Standard formula used when breastfeeding is not adopted or stopped before one year of age.

• Designed to mimic the composition of breast milk. Breast milk is approximately 60% whey and 40% casein, cow’s milk is 8% casein and 20% whey.

• The formulas contain at least 50% more protein / dL than breast milk (1.5 g / 100 cc).

• The formulas provide an adequate intake of essential nutrients: iron and linoleic acid.

• Carnitine and taurine are added to most standard formulas.

• Nucleotides are added to Enfamil and Similac.

Composition based on cow’s milk

• 20 calories / ounce standard dilution

• Ideally, the protein is predominantly whey (similar to breast milk).

• Carbohydrate is lactose (except in the non-dairy formula).

• The fat is a mixture of vegetable oil (LCT)

• Approximately 32 ounces of standard formula per day will meet 100% of the RDA of vitamins and minerals for full-term babies.

• If infants are only fed ready-to-feed with dormula, a fluoride supplement of 0.25 mg / day is necessary to meet the RDA per the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines.

Available brands of cow’s milk formulas

• Enfamil with Iron (or low iron) (Mead Johnsom)

• Similac with iron (or low iron) (Ross)

• Gerber

• Good start (Carnation formula with 100% whey protein).

• Similac PM 60/40 (has a reduced content of calcium, phosphorus and potassium: often used in kidney patients). (Ross).

• Lactose-free cow’s milk protein (Mead Johnson), but lactose-free.

Soy-based formulas

Indication of use

• Vegetarians

• IgE-mediated reaction to cow’s milk protein

• Lactose intolerance or galactosemia

• Feedback after chronic diarrhea (lactose free)


• Higher protein content than cow’s milk-based formulas, since plant sources are used to obtain protein (2.2 g / dL).

• Higher content of vitamins and minerals to compensate for mineral antagonists, such as phytates.

• Extra methionine added to the formula to ensure a “complete” protein.

• Taurine and cysteine ​​were added.

• Taste sweeter than cow’s milk and lower cost.


• 20 calories / ounce standard dilution

• Protein: soy protein with added methionine

• Carbohydrates: sucrose, corn syrup solids, tapioca starch

• Fat: mixture of vegetable oils

Available brands of soy formulas

• Prosobee

• Isomil

• Isoyalac

Casein hydrolyzate formulas

Indication of use

• Allergy to milk protein or soy protein

• Complicated gastrointestinal disorders

• Colic

• Food intolerance to cow’s milk or soy formulas


• Tasteful and expensive

• Not recommended for long-term use in premature babies due to inadequate vitamin and mineral content and the protein source can be difficult to metabolize.

• Alimentum is only available ready to eat.

• Pregestimil is only available as a powder for the child consumer, but in some hospitals it is available in 20 x 24 calories / oz ready to eat.

• Nutramigen is available in powder and liquid concentrate for the consumer, but is available ready to feed in the hospital setting.

Available Brands

• Nutramigen

• Pregestimil

• Alimentum


• Protein: hydrolyzed casein (small peptide considered hypoallergenic)

• Carbohydrate: modified tapioca starch and glucose oligosaccharides.

• Fat: approximately 50% of the fat is MCT oil in Alimantum and pregestimil, and 100% of the fat is corn oil in Nutramigen.

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