Australia/New Zealand – French dairy producer, Danone, has introduced a dairy and plant milk powder blend designed for infants and toddlers in Australia and New Zealand.

According to the dairy giant, ss a dairy and plant blend, the formula contains 60 per cent dairy protein from whey and casein and 40 per cent non-GMO soy protein.

The product is also fortified with eight micronutrients for supporting the immune system function, namely zinc, iron, folate, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, and D.

In addition, the formula contains prebiotics GOS and FOS formulated based on the company’s proprietary ratio, omega-3 DHA, calcium, and iodine.

“This is first of its kind infant formula that has been developed given the growing demand for plant-based products for kids while creating a well-rounded nutritional product at the same time,” Shantanu Das, head of innovation and PSQC at Danone Australia-New Zealand said.

“It combines the nutrition of a dairy-based formula with an increased amount of plant-based ingredients, prebiotics and 8 immunity nutrients to meet parents’ desire for a more plant-based diet, without compromising nutrition or quality.”

Danone first launched the dairy and plants blend formulas under the Nutrilon brand last year in the Netherlands.

According to Das, the formulation of the dairy and plant milk blend faced three challenges when namely formulation complexity, taste and palatability, and manufacturing and scalability.

In terms of formulation complexity, he pointed out the need to meet the nutritional requirements of food regulator FSANZ, as well as the company’s internal nutritional guidelines.

“Developing a recipe that maintained the necessary nutritional composition, taste, and texture posed a significant challenge. To overcome this, the team conducted a range of benchtop trials, product analyses and taste-tasting,” he said.

Earlier this year, Danone introduced its hypoallergenic baby formula brand, Pepticate, to the US, following an infant formula shortage in the country.

The product was launched by Danone’s specialised nutrition arm in North America, Nutricia, to help support families whose babies have food allergies.

The company explained that Pepticate was an extensively hydrolysed powdered formula (EHF) designed to provide relief from the symptoms of cow milk allergy in infants up to 12 months old.

“For babies with food allergies that are not breastfed, hypoallergenic formulas like Pepticate are often their main source of nutrition, and can play a critical role in their development,” said Steven Yannicelli, Vice President, of Medical and Scientific Affairs at Nutricia North America.

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