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DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2015 15F604 Teagasc (CIT) €590,964

Project Title:

Thermal Or Membrane processing for Infant formula (TOMI)

Project Coordinator:

Dr Linda Giblin

Project Abstract

TOMI will produce infant milk formula (IMF) by cascade membrane filtration (CMF) as an alternative to thermal processing. This next generation IMF will be safe with enhanced bioaccessibility, bioavailability and digestion of proteins, peptides and fats. At present IMF undergoes rigid heat treatment to ensure microbiological safety and long shelf life. As a consequence of the special composition and the heat regimen, IMF is more prone to thermally induced degradation reactions than regular milk products. At the same time, regulations (Commission Directive 2006/141/EC) specify that IMF composition is able to satisfy (1) normal physical growth and (2) is of sufficient biological quality (adequate amounts of protein and in a form that can be utilized by infants). There is scope to improve the nutritional quality of IMF by reducing the thermal load. However this must be accomplished with a clear quantification of the benefits and without compromising safety. The objective of this project is to formulate IMF with reduced levels of thermal treatment using CMF. The process and product will be evaluated to ensure safety is not compromised. TOMI will map the fate of CMF IMF during gastro-intestinal digestion using pioneering intestinal models to investigate bioaccessibility and bioavailability of proteins, peptides and fats and compare results to thermally processed IMF. A real strength of TOMI is the use of piglets in a 28 day feeding trial to mimic the infant gut. IMF represents a particularly important food category to the Irish food sector with approximately 10% of the entire global exports of IMF manufactured in Ireland. This project addresses a primary concern of the IMF industry and has the potential to radically improve the quality of IMF produced in Ireland.

Final Report:

Not available yet.