The new formula is already being lauded on the Facebook page of Fearless Formula Feeder, a website dedicated to eliminating the stigma surrounding formula feeding.
The prestigious Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has developed the world’s first infant formula that is based on neither dairy nor soy.
Many babies are intolerant of the proteins found in cows’ milk and soy. For these infants, the only option currently on the market is expensive, odd-tasting and foul-smelling hydrolized formulas.
Between two and seven percent of all babies under a year of age have an intolerance to the casein protein in cows’ milk. Approximately 60% of these infants are also intolerant of soy, a condition known as Milk Soy Protein Intolerance (MSPI). MSPI generally disappears by the child’s first birthday. However, it is problematic for babies whose mothers are unable or unwilling to breastfeed exclusively. The current solution is special hypoallergenic formulas in which the casein is broken down into components too small to trigger an allergic response. However, the process gives these formulas a taste and smell that many babies, as well as the adults feeding them, find unpleasant.
Scientists Hamutal Yitzhak and Uriel Kessler named their product Innovative Dairy Infant formula (INDI). In an interview with NoCamels, the Israeli innovation website, Kessler said that he was inspired to create the formula following the birth of his granddaughter, who required hydrolized formula. Although the researchers will not reveal the exact basis of the formula until commercially available, they hinted that they combined almond paste with a vegetable-based component to create a product that meets government nutritional requirements for infant formula.
At this point, the product is undergoing its first industrial trial in Germany. The scientists are also in investment talks with major companies. “We still need another year to complete safety tests with the babies to make sure there are no side effects. We also need to complete our patent registration, and then we will be ready to start marketing,” they said.
The creation of INDI is already being lauded on the Facebook page of Fearless Formula Feeder, a website dedicated to eliminating the stigma surrounding formula feeding. “Anything that isn’t as vile as neocate [sic] would be welcome – while I love the stuff for how my youngest thrived on it, the smell of slightly stale potato for an entire year rather than lovely new baby smell was awful!” one mother noted.
“This would be so great! My son is on Alimentum and I hate the smell. The color’s not too appealing either,” said another.