When European companies develop their formulas, the first priority is to try and mimic breast milk wherever possible, this includes essential fatty acids which are healthy for your baby’s body.
For European baby formulas to mimic the fatty acid profile found in breastmilk roughly half of the calories must come from fat. Fatty acids are an essential part of infant nutrition as an energy source and are an aid in the absorption of vital vitamins and minerals babies need for proper growth and development.
Palm oil or palm olein oil is a good source of palmitic acid, which accounts for roughly 20-25% of the fatty acid content of breast milk. Palm oil is also used in so many formulas as an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin E, and there is some evidence that it can help promote long term healthy cholesterol levels.
Palm Oil Concerns
There have been studies which have linked palm oil with the absorption interference of certain nutrients, like calcium. Parents are often worried that these nutrients will be lost and growth will be inhibited.
Another important concern relates to palm oil and the environmental impact left after sourcing. Unfortunately, it is well known that much of the world’s palm oil is produced using agricultural methods that are detrimental to ecosystems and biodiversity, so it is assumed that there is not a sustainable or responsible way to farm and use palm oil in European baby formulas.
Palm Oil Facts
European baby formula companies carefully consider all aspects of infant nutrition including absorption of nutrients.
When designing European baby formulas, manufacturers compensate for the effects of palm oil by adding increased amounts of calcium during production. Brands such as HiPP Dutch also have the added advantage of prebiotics and probiotics which balances gut flora and drastically aids in the absorption of all nutrients, including calcium.
Recent research also indicates that the palm oil in your little one’s formula will not adversely affect calcium levels and bone density in the long run. European baby formula manufacturers go the extra mile to ensure all babies are able to get all of the calcium they need to build strong bones, healthy skin and teeth.
Environmentally speaking, well-respected European baby formula companies such as HiPP and Holle use only sustainable-sourced and socially-responsible organic palm oil. Produced organically to protect the rainforests and biodiversity, where there is no deforestation of the rainforest.