Background: Breastfeeding is the best way to provide ideal food for infants. However,
there are many situations in which breastfeeding is unviable (maternal illness, hygiene problems,
intravenous feeding requirement, storage). Safe, efficient, and nutritious products should be offered
by the industry to mothers and healthcare professionals as an alternative.
Objective: The present review aims to update the state of the art regarding the most innovative developments
in infant feeding formulation and, the promising novel technologies that are being investigated
to achieve a balance between the microbiological stability, organoleptic and nutritional value
of baby food.
Methods: The research lines included in the present systematic review are focused on both, the most
innovative ingredients and emergent technologies applied increasing the offer of tailor-made nutritional
profiled products with improved quality and safety.
Results: According to the reviewed research and recently published patents the current emergence
of a new generation of infant products is remarkable, with specific product lines aimed at infants at
different stages of development and affected by several disorders (low-weight babies, premature
neonates, allergenic patients), with special emphasis on the application of novel technologies (e.g.
High Hydrostatic Pressure (HHP) and microencapsulation) as potential techniques to ensure the microbiological
safety of developed products, and the improvement of their nutritional value, complementary
to the addition of functional ingredients, such as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, amino acids,
prebiotics and probiotics, and medicinal herb supplementation (e.g. lemon balm, royal jelly).
Conclusion: The present research work provides a general view of recent advances in infant products
processing and formulation focusing on the technological effects and quality/safety developments.