The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. After six months of age, infants should receive age appropriate foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Consult your doctor before deciding to use infant formula or if you have difficulty breastfeeding.
Have you ever heard your other parent friends discussing the different criteria they look for when choosing a formula milk for their children? Or perhaps it is something you have done yourself – with a spouse or friend.
Often, what is discussed is the price and list of “fortified ingredients” contained in the different brands of formula milk. While these factors are important to a certain extent, what parents should be concerned about is formula milk origins as well.
Formula milk origins: Where does you child’s formula milk come from?
Parents, did you know that most milk brands are actually NOT manufactured in Europe or Western countries like Australia and New Zealand? In fact, many brands manufacture their products right here in Southeast Asia!
The next time you walk down the supermarket aisle looking for a can of milk, we recommend you read the label to find out where the product is manufactured.
Now, you might be wondering, why does this matter so much? Does is really matter if you child’s milk is made in Europe or Asia? How different could it possibly be?
The fact is, when milk is not manufactured in Europe, it may not contain as many natural nutrients as a product that is made from start to end in the country of origin.
This is due to the different manufacturing processes it goes through. A product made in Asia will go through a double manufacturing process while a product imported directly from Europe, Australia and New Zealand, only goes through a single manufacturing process.
Which is better.
A double manufacturing process means the milk is typically sourced from a Western country before being exported to Asia for brands to add in their “fortified ingredients”.
So, yes, while the milk comes from cows that are reared overseas, they typically source it from a third party since they don’t actually own the farms or cows.
Once the milk is extracted from the cows on the farm, it is then transported to a factory to be made into powder. The powder is then sent to countries like Thailand, Singapore, or other Southeast Asian countries for brands to include their own ingredients.
During this process, the milk powder is subjected to multiple heat treatments and it is possible that many natural nutrients can be lost.
In cases like this, brand will then have to put on the can that the product is manufactured outside of Europe.
Of course, a single manufacturing process is better simply because the products goes through fewer heat treatments and more natural nutrients can be preserved.
The single manufacturing process means the milk is extracted from cows in the original country, converted into powder using milk heat treatment then directly packaged and exported to be sold here in Malaysia.
Typically, this single manufacturing process means that a single company is behind the whole process, eliminating any need for third party involvement. This means that the brand that owns the farm is able to control the environment in which the cows are reared to ensure a thriving atmosphere. Then when the milk is transported, it is done so at the right temperature.
Before the milk is converted into powder, it is carefully tested for the right colour and scent to ensure that is it of highest quality.
As parents, we aspire to give the best to our children. It is only when we know better that we do better. Thus, choose your milk formula brand wisely by checking where it truly comes from.