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Investigation of selenium in infant starting, special and follow‐on formulae

Petra Cuderman (Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Vekoslava Stibilj (Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 18 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the selenium content in seven different infant starting formulae, eight different follow‐on formulae and in 15 different special infant formulae, from various producers, all commercially available in Slovenia.


Each product was taken in various lots during a three‐year period (from 2004 to 2006). For the determination of selenium content in different infant formulae the method of hydride generation atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HG‐AFS) was optimised. The reliability of the method was checked by the independent method of radiochemical neutron activation analysis (RNAA).


The values for different infant formulae ranged from 20.9 to 207.9 ng/g powder. The paper compared the values obtained with the declared values where possible. The average concentration showed insufficient agreement with the declared value in four out of 30 cases. The paper also found significant variation in selenium content between formulae in the same group. In some cases, large variations between different lots of the same product were found.


Calculated from our results, from infant formulae babies obtain from 2.4 to 24.0 ug Se per day, showing insufficient agreement with recommended daily intakes published by D_A_CH and by WHO. Since information on the endogenous Se levels of infant formulae is largely lacking, therefore there is still need for stricter quality control of the selenium content in infant formulae.



Cuderman, P. and Stibilj, V. (2008), "Investigation of selenium in infant starting, special and follow‐on formulae", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 38 No. 4, pp. 361-372.



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