The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has launched a public consultation on its draft scientific opinion determining “the essential composition of infant and infant  follow-on formulae.” Drawing on new evidence as well as dietary intake guidelines for infants and  young children, the draft opinion addresses requirements for protein, fat, carbohydrates,  micronutrients, and other ingredients found in formula. It also notes that nutrients should be  added to formula only “in amounts that serve a nutritional or other benefit.”

Among other things, the agency concluded that (i) “cow’s milk, goat’s milk and isolated soy protein  are safe and suitable sources of protein for use in infant and infant follow-on formula based on  intact protein”; (ii) “formulae containing protein hydrolysates are insufficiently characterized by  the declared protein content even if they fulfill regulatory criteria concerning amino acid  patterns and contents”; (iii) “infant and follow-on formula should provide indispensable and  conditionally indispensable amino acids in amounts at least equal to those found in breast milk,  irrespective of the protein source”; (iv) “it is not necessary to add arachidonic acid,  eicosapentaenoic acid, chromium, taurine, nucleotides, non-digestible oligosaccharides,  ‘probiotics’ or ‘synbiotics’ to infant and follow-on formula”; and (v) “for follow- on formula,  unlike with infant formula, the addition of l-carnitine, inositol and choline is not necessary.”  EFSA will accept comments on the draft opinion until May 29, 2014. See EFSA News Release, April 24, 2014.