That was one of the stories on the front page of the South China Morning Post (SCMP) today. The newspaper present the data from the analysis of 7 brands of baby formula. Three of which from mainland China, (Beingmate’s Baby Club, Synutra’s Super infant formula, and Yili’s Gold infant formula) had levels of trans fats of 0.4-0.6g per 100g milk powder.
Trans fats can occur naturally at low concentrations in milk but are also produced during the process of hydrogenating vegetable oils. This is done to make an oil more solid at room temperature and to reduce rancidity. Hydrogenated vegetable oils have come under fire in the last decade due to the link with increased risk of coronary heart disease and have therefore been phased out of many products. The levels found in the baby food are within allowed levels but some experts interviewed by the paper were concerned about any trans fats being in the formula.
The results also showed that Synuta’s Super infant formula contained twice the amount of sodium as stated on the packaging. None of the formula tested contained melamine, responsible for 6 children’s deaths in the 2008 milk scandal.