For young mother, choose from homemade or commercial baby food always a question. For baby food manufacturer, whether to invest on baby food production is also a question to them. This blog post may give both mom and food manufacturer some advice.
Extrusion processing has become a key food process in the production of infant cereals such as oatmeal cereals, rice cereals, mixed grain cereals and many other infant formulas. These infant foods offer a high and significant nutritional value for infants, thanks to their refined manufacturing process and high standards of hygiene that guarantee production of sterile foods.
As manufacturers continue filling their stores with tons of baby foods, some mothers are unsure whether these products are safe for their babies. The truth of the matter is that most infant formulas and cereals can be as great as breast milk. Still, it is important to note that most manufacturers always strive to match the chemical composition of baby foods with that of breast milk though their accuracy may not be 100%. Hence, breastfeeding is usually recommended for the first four to six months before baby foods are introduced.
Homemade or commercial:
At weaning, it is important to feed the baby with the right nutritional foods. Although some baby foods can be cheaply made at home, maintaining a high standard of hygiene can be a big challenge. This means that the chances of contamination are high hence health problems can result if the baby is fed on such diets. Thus, mothers are often advised to buy aseptically manufactured baby foods from reliable manufacturers.
Here are reasons why commercial foods are better than homemade baby foods:
Less preparation Time:
Just like in every other mechanized process, commercial processing of baby foods is relatively faster and efficient. Typically, homemade procedures are slow and sometimes tiresome especially when several processes are involved. In the homemade type, lengthy processes such as assembling materials and equipment, cutting, mashing, squeezing, cooking and even sieving in some cases. These processes are unnecessary extensive and tiresome. With the commercial production of baby foods, the cereals, and other ingredients are introduced into the machine at once and the products are released in a short while. This procedure saves a lot of time and energy even as it ensures production of high-quality baby foods.
High standards of Hygiene:
It is important to understand that bacteria can be found in almost all objects including utensils, food, and even hands. For this reason, it is difficult to maintain high standards of high in normal conditions like in homemade baby foods. Today, pasteurization is a requirement for every commercially manufactured baby food. This process helps to eliminate microbial strains that may enter the food during preparation. To ensure a high level of hygiene is achieved, manufacturers follow a strict quality control process that involves internal measures as well as external procedures. In most cases, baby food extruders use high-temperature short time treatment i.e. 121°C for 15 minutes. Different manufacturers may use varying pasteurization techniques, but they often achieve a similar objective, complete sterilization.
Another requirement of commercially manufactured baby foods is proper nutrient fortification. In fact, baby foods are normally screened by reliable health entities such as FDA (US) to ensure that the products are fit for baby use.
Most commercial organic baby foods are fortified with vital baby nutrients such as iron, zinc, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B complex, and niacin. These nutrients are important for healthy growth and development of the baby.
Due to the fact that different manufacturers may add different ingredients to their products, mothers are often advised to be watchful of their baby food purchases. Trustworthy baby foods should be properly labeled and approved by relevant agencies.