Certified Milk Protein Reference Materials to Ensure Safe and Nutrient-Rich Infant Formula

By: Dr. Norman Hardt, Product Manager Reference Materials

𝛼-Lactalbumin, β-Lactoglobulin A & B, and Lactoferrin

Mothers’ own milk is the best source of nutrition for nearly all infants. Beyond somatic growth, breast milk as a biologic fluid has a variety of other benefits, including modulation of postnatal intestinal function, immune ontogeny, and brain development. Although breastfeeding is highly recommended, it may not always be possible, suitable or solely adequate. In China, less than 30% infants younger than 6 months are exclusively breastfed.

The 2008 milk scandal was a widespread food safety incident in China. The scandal involved adulterated milk and infant formula and affected an estimated 300,000 babies, six babies died and up to 54,000 babies were hospitalized. The World Health Organization referred to these incidents as one of the largest food safety events ever encountered. Since 2008, there has been constant reform to regulations in the global infant formula industry particularly for infant formula testing methods. Industry methods have been moving from immunoassay testing to LC-MS/MS for greater accuracy and sensitivity.

Since 2008, there has been constant reform to regulation of the global infant formula industry and great achievement to infant formula testing methods. Industry methods have been moving from immunoassay testing to LC-MS/MS for greater accuracy and sensitivity.

To help provide children with safe and nutrient-rich infant formula and to support new regulations, We have developed Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) of fully intact milk proteins, including α-Lactalbumin, β-Lactoglobulin and Lactoferrin. These CRMs allow accurate testing of the most critical proteins in infant formula through development and routine calibration of LC-MS/MS methods. Merck’s newly launched milk protein CRMs help labs to develop and test infant formula products with high accuracy, while ensuring legal & regulatory compliance. Ensuring global safety, we help food & beverage manufacturers to implement and routinely perform quality assurance and quality control programs with accuracy and confidence.

L-045-100MG α-Lactalbumin

α-Lactalbumin is an important whey protein that regulates the production of lactose in milk and is present in the milk of almost all mammalian species. This full-length protein CRM is suitable as starting material for use in calibrators or controls for a variety of LC-MS/MS testing applications including allergen testing, infant formula testing and dietary or nutritional testing applications.

α-Lactalbumin

L-046-100MG β-Lactoglobulin A & B

β-Lactoglobulin A & B is the major whey protein of cow and sheep's milk (~3 g/l), and is also present in many other mammalian species with an interesting exception being humans. β-Lactoglobulin can cause severe allergic effects. This full-length protein CRM is suitable as starting material for use in calibrators or controls for a variety of LC-MS/MS testing applications including allergen testing, infant formula testing and dietary or nutritional testing applications.

β-Lactoglobulin

 

L-047-50MG Lactoferrin

Lactoferrin, also known as lactotransferrin, is a glycoprotein widely represented in various secretory fluids including milk. Lactoferrin is part of the immune system and has antimicrobial activity. This full-length protein CRM is suitable as starting material for use in calibrators or controls for a variety of LC-MS/MS testing applications including allergen testing, infant formula testing, dietary or nutritional and diagnostic testing applications.

Literature

  1. Infant Formula Crisis in China: A Cohort Study in Sichuan Province, Li Tang, Colin W. Binns, Andy H. Lee, J HEALTH POPUL NUTR, 2015 Mar; 33(1):117-122.
  2. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;77:1555S–8S.
  3. Review of Infant Feeding: Key Features of Breast Milk and Infant Formula, Camilia R. Martin, Pei-Ra Ling and George L. Blackburn, Nutrients 2016, 8, 279.

Materials