Infant nutrition – recipes, regulatory requirements, and market insights for a successful go-to-market strategy

To succeed in the infant nutrition business, you need safe and high-quality products that answer the target market’s consumer needs. With decades of experience in infant nutrition and related R&D, we at Valio are committed to providing the best possible products and ingredients for your delicate target group. On top of that, our experts can help you enter new markets, develop your recipes and products, and stay on top of updates in regulations.

Valio launched its first infant milk formula product for consumers in 1955. Since then, we have expanded to manufacturing a wide range of baby food products from infant to toddlers, as well as premium infant grade ingredients for demanding infant nutrition manufacturers.

This legacy means that our research and development team has decades of experience in the nutritional needs of infants and toddlers. Through our own consumer product line, we get continuous feedback from real consumers and use that to further develop the products and ingredients for our industrial customers, also.

Over the decades, our go-to-market experts have gathered an intricate understanding of the needs of our industrial customers and the requirements of the strictly regulated infant nutrition market in any part of the world.

Our regulatory and patent team helps with the target market requirements

The nutritional composition and quality of infant milk formula are strictly regulated by standards and regulations. To enter a market successfully, or to conform to the changes in regulations, infant formula manufacturers need a partner and supplier who has a deep understanding of market-specific requirements.

For instance, updates in regulations seem to be taking infant milk formula standards towards a less protein trend. We are keeping a close eye on regulations and continuously developing our products and ingredients to help you meet the requirements.

Our infant nutrition customers are supported by a team of regulation and patent experts. You can rest easy in the knowledge that when developing products with Valio, all regulatory requirements are taken into account, and no existing patents or other intellectual property are being breached.

We follow closely the scientific research of breast milk and infant nutrition to be able to implement the findings to our infant nutrition solutions.

Standard or tailored IMF – wide range of recipe opportunities and R&D support available

From our own standard recipes to highly tailored compositions, we can answer a large variety of customer needs. With the new dry blend facility at our Lapinlahti plant, we can offer base powders and IMF powders added with heat sensitive value-added micro ingredients, such as lactoferrin and probiotics.

Throughout recipe development, pilot batches, production, and testing, our expert team is there to share their knowledge in nutritional and regulatory requirements. All batches are tested for their compositional, microbiological, and physical quality in Valio’s own accredited laboratory or in chosen 3rd party laboratories. We also carry out careful assessment of all suppliers to make sure that all the components used in our recipes meet our strict quality standards.

Valio nutritional knowhow and R&D takes infant formula closer to the golden standard

We at Valio are firm supporters of the WHO recommendations regarding breastfeeding. Yet, we are equally committed to providing the highest quality alternatives for those situations where parents simply cannot comply. This is why we closely follow the scientific research of breast milk and infant nutrition to be able to implement the findings to the composition of our infant nutrition solutions.

High-quality Finnish milk is a great starting point for the golden standard of infant nutrition. Milk protein contains all the nine amino acids essential for the human body. Furthermore, milk protein is easily absorbed, and the body can utilise it effectively.

Most our recipes are based on milk fat. The composition of milk fat is closer to the composition of the fat in breast milk, when compared to vegetable fat. Our research into milk fat and MFGM reveals that fat compounds in milk show promise in enhancing child development.

Driving business opportunities in value-added infant nutrition and digestive wellness

Valio is a pioneer in lactose free milk and dairy, and the treatment of enzymes in milk. Over the decades, we have accumulated a great deal of expertise and experience in the fields of digestive wellness and special nutrition.

Digestive wellness is a rapidly growing business opportunity in early life nutrition, as well. To fully serve our customers’ diverse needs, we put continuous effort into developing new and innovative solutions for infant and toddler nutrition.

Currently, the hot topics we can introduce from our own infant grade ingredients are the phospholipids in the milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) and the hydrolysation of whey protein.

Digestive wellness is a rapidly growing business opportunity in early life nutrition.

Harness the effects of MFGM and OPO naturally occurring in milk fat

Milk fat is a treasure chest of bioactive components with many scientifically proven benefits for infants. There is increasing evidence from clinical studies on the many effects of fat compounds, such as MFGM and OPO, on cognitive development, immune functions, and gut wellbeing.

With our milk fat based ingredients, our customers can integrate the effects of MFGM and OPO into their infant nutrition products.

Read more: Phospholipids in milk show promise in enhancing child development.

Hydrolysed whey enhances absorption of protein and helps digestion

Dairy proteins are known to absorb well in the human digestive system. The digestive system of a baby is a particularly delicate one. To further enhance the absorption of dairy protein and the intake of optimal nutrition, we have developed a whey powder where a part of the protein is hydrolysed.

For most of our recipes, the whey comes from our own cheese plants, so we have full control over the quality chain of our ingredients. Read about our Lapinlahti plant, where all the whey is transferred in a closed system from the cheese factory next door.

See what our new solutions for the baby food industry can do for your business.

IMF Selector

Explore our range of B2B infant nutrition solutions — made from pure Finnish milk on our farms and fresh whey in our ultra-modern facilities.

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Phospholipids’ health benefits for infants—new episode available now

Get the scoop from our experts before the competition does. Watch this 10-minute video packed with commercially potent nutritional insights, and you’ll be the first to learn:

  • Why phospholipids promote infants’ healthy development
  • How phospholipids in milk fat make infant formula and breast milk fat composition more alike
  • How Valio can help you succeed in the infant formula market

High-quality fat is crucial for infant development and wellbeing

Top scientist Dr. Baoru Yang and nutrition research manager Dr. Anu Turpeinen shared their latest research findings on infant nutrition and milk fat. The recording of the webinar is now available.

Watch the recording

Why is MFGM so important for early childhood development?

Valio's Anu Turpeinen shares the latest research showing how MFGM in milk fat enhances brain health – and the new product opportunities this is creating.

Watch the episode

The fat similarity index — evidence supporting the use of cow's milk fat in infant formula.

In this episode of Expert insights, Valio’s research specialist Anu Turpeinen explains the similarities between cow’s milk fat and breast milk — and why infant formula makers would benefit from using cow’s milk fat as the ingredient.

Watch the episode

Podcast: Harness the business potential of milk phospholipids

Valio’s Nutrition Research Manager Anu Turpeinen fills you in on the importance of phospholipids in early life and how they can be used in food manufacturing to develop new products and enter new markets.

Explore your possibilities

Send your message or question and our infant nutrition team will reach out with more details.

Judith Wang

Customer Development ManagerContact our specialist for additional information, technical support and co-creation projects.

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Business opportunities for infant nutrition manufacturers

Read more about all the various areas of baby food, where we can help you with

Infant nutrition