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July 21, 2019 2 min read 1 Comment

Holle Stage Pre v.Holle Stage 1[2019]:

The BIG difference

Last Updated on July 23,2019

Finally.What you have all been waiting for as you search the internet for the answer to what seems a simple question.Like many American moms just learning about European formula or perhaps just learning about Holle formula,stages of formulais a completely new concept.Even more so,Holle has added the PRE stage,which some other brands do not have.A common assumption is that this must simply mean it comes before stage one...right???


The difference between PRE and Stage One Holle formula isone ingredient...Maltodextrin!

The PRE stage formula containsNOmaltodextrin,but instead substitutes organic lactose to provide additional nutritive content.Stage One formula,on the other hand,does contain maltodextrin.

Not sure what maltodextrin is?No worries,let's dig deeper into what this means in respect to the formula we give our baby.


What is it?

  • Complex carbohydrate
  • Derived from the starch found in plants such as corn, rice, or potatoes (Holle produces Maltodextrin from organic plants)
  • Broken down through a hydrolyzing process
  • Gives energy (It's slower in releasing that energy and often helps babies feel more satisfied longer)
  • Easy to digest
  • Used to thicken formula
  • An alternative to soy-lecithin(which is not allowed in EU formulas due to it's negative effects)

Fun Facts:

  • Maltodextrin is gluten-free in the Holle formula!
  • A study of maltodextrin vs. lactose use in formula given to piglets found that piglets fed the maltodextrin formula had higher reference memory scores than the piglets fed the lactose formula. They had a better long term spatial memory for weeks after the end of the intervention as well!

Maltodextrin is used as a sweetener:

Breastmilk, in comparison to cows milk, contains higher levels of the carbohydrate lactose, which means that formula manufacturers must make up the difference of the carbohydrates according to the Global Standard for the Composition of Formula. Many manufacturers have done this by adding plant-based sweeteners instead of the natural sweetener of lactose (as it is much cheaper to manufacture plant-based sweeteners).

What are these other sweeteners used?? Corn syrup, sugar, or brown rice syrup

Technically, maltodextrin falls under this category of plant-based sweeteners as it is derived from corn, rice, or potatoes. Maltodextrin is less sweet than the corn-syrup and brown rice syrup (which in the controversy of making formulas too sweet and starting children's addictions to sweets later in life,this could be a good thing).Due to theban of sugar in formula in the European Union,maltodextrin also offers a simple alternative to lactose.

In comparison to the corn syrup,sugar,or brown rice syrup,maltodextrin is considered the best of the options.Of course,the very best is the organic lactose and Holle recognizes this by offering that option in their PRE stage of formula.

How do American formulas(organic&non-organic)carbohydrate composition compare with Holle?

Check out the chart below:

1 Response


July 26, 2019

Hi there!

Thank you for the informative article! I wonder why American manufacturers use so much unhealthy sugar, or high fructose corn syrup.

In any case, loved reading this, and helps me clarify the difference between Holle Pre v. Holle 1. Could you do an article with the difference between Hipp HA vs. Hipp Comfort?

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