Saturday, February 18, 2017

Early history of infant formula industry

Human-milk substitute existed before the modern age of formulas. Before the industrial revolution, the only alternatives to a mother’s breast feeding were starvation of the infant or (for the wealthier) the services of a wet nurse. The other alternative was to feed the child milk obtained from another mammal.

The modern infant formula industry found its origin in the mid-19th century when food processing firms, notably Nestlé in Switzerland and Borden in the US began producing sweetened and condensed milk.

In 1884 Dr. A. V. Meigs of Philadelphia published the chemical analysis of human and cow’s milk that have served as the basis for modern infant feeding.

By the 1890s medical science had produced few clear cut answers to the problem of infant feeding. Cow’s milk was the best and most widely available substitute for mother’s milk, but one to modify it.

Liebig’s food for infants was marketed in 1867 and consisted of wheat flour, cow milk, malt flour, and potassium bicarbonate. In 1915 a formula called ‘synthetic milk adapted’ was developed with nonfat cow milk, lactose, oleo oils and vegetables oils.

By the early 870s the Nestlé Milk Food Company was distributing its product throughout Europe, Australia and the Americas.
Early history of infant formula industry
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