Nutritional aspects of commercial infant and toddler food products sold in Turkey.


Kök Şan C., Gökçay G. F.

Nutrition and health, 2023 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/02601060231194652
  • Journal Name: Nutrition and health
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, ASSIA, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, Food Science & Technology Abstracts
  • Keywords: Baby food, commercial complementary food, complementary feeding, nutrient profile, sodium, sugar
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Background: In recent years, there has been an increase in the variety and consumption of commercial infant and toddler food products. Aim: The aim of this study is to evaluate the nutritional profiles of commercial infant and toddler food products sold in Turkey. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of the nutritional composition of products available at in-store and online supermarkets in Turkey was derived from the nutritional information panel on the product label or information provided on manufacturer websites in March 2023. The targeted age group, package type, serving size, ingredients list, and nutrition information (energy [kcal], protein [g], total fat [g], carbohydrate [g], dietary fiber [g], total sugar [g], and sodium [mg] per 100 g) were recorded. Results: Of the 189 products identified, more than 90% (n = 47) of the first foods were fruit-based, while 2% (n = 4) contained only vegetables. Almost half of the products (n = 89, 49%) contained added sugar or sweeteners, 41 (22%) had added sugar, and 1 in 3 products (n = 68, 36%) had sugar from fruit-based sources. One in 10 products (n = 18, 9.5%) contained added salt while 40% of the products (n = 76) were above the WHO Europe sodium standards. Almost half of the products (n = 6, 46%) targeting the 12 months older age group were pureed foods using squeeze pouch packaging. Conclusions: The majority of commercial infant and toddler food products did not adhere to nutrition guidelines. There is a need for stronger composition standards for commercial infant and toddler food products by reducing sugar and sodium content, reducing the use of fruits and sweet vegetables, and increasing the variety of products containing different types of vegetables.