First in China: Danone introduces hypoallergenic amino acid formula for toddlers

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Children allergic to cow milk protein might develop allergic reactions such as atopic dermatitis. ©Getty Images
Children allergic to cow milk protein might develop allergic reactions such as atopic dermatitis. ©Getty Images

Related tags Danone China toddlers

Danone has introduced China’s first hypoallergenic amino acid-based formula for toddlers allergic to food protein.

The product, known as Neocate Junior, will be available to China consumers from Hong Kong via cross-border e-commerce, including its Nutricia’s Tmall flagship store and WeChat’s mini program.

Outside of China, it is already sold in countries such as the US and UK. 

The launch of the product was announced at the 7th​ Nutricia allergy and growth nutrition summit held in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu.

Danone had previously launched another hypoallergenic amino acid-based infant formula named Neocate since 2006 for infants zero to one year old.

A hypoallergenic amino acid-based formula does not contain amino acid allergens, and so is suitable for infants and toddlers who experience food protein allergy.

Statistics have shown that the prevalence of allergy to cow milk protein is about 2.5% to 7% in China.  

About 50% of the Chinese toddler aged one and above still experience symptoms of cow milk protein allergy Fang Fang, director of the childcare business unit at Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition said, citing incomplete statistics.

Allergies to food protein can be life-threatening, as it will trigger the immune system to incorrectly identify certain food as harmful and produce inappropriate responses, including atopic dermatitis. As such, they will require to take in

“Toddlers over one year old have different nutritional needs as compared to infants, and are pickier about the taste, so it is necessary to feed them the amino acid-based formula with tailored nutrition and favorable taste.

“However, there has been no amino acid-based formula product in the Chinese mainland tailored for babies over 1 year old for a long time,”​ Fang Fang told NutraIngredients-Asia, ​which was a reason that prompted the firm to bring the product to China.

The product, which currently comes in an unflavoured version, also contains micronutrients that toddlers allergic to food protein may lack, including calcium, iron, and vitamin D.

“Feeding toddlers with the formula for six months will help prevent the re-occurrence of food protein allergy and helps in their growth,”​ said Prof Xu Chun Di from Shanghai Jiaotong University Ruijin Hospital’s paediatric department, who also attended the summits. 

Other brands, such as Nestle Health Science China, have also introduced extensively hydrolysed formulas (eHFs) for infants with cow’s milk allergies. However, these products are sold in China not as general formula, but as Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMPs).​ 

We’ll be shining the spotlight on Infant Nutrition in our Growth Asia 2020 interactive broadcast series, featuring expert insights from a host of big-name brands and world-renowned experts.

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