This study aims to analyze the levels of vitamin C, phenolic compounds and antioxidants in baby food. Providing nutritious food to the infants is essential for their growth and development. Baby foods are foods prepared from any suitable nutritive material and intended for feeding children after six months of age. The search for foods that meet the nutritional needs of children and that also promote aspects of health has increased on the part of parents.
A total of 17 different types of baby foods (2 brands) were purchased and the vitamin C content, total phenolic compounds (TPC) and antioxidant activity were determined. The authors also assessed the adequacy of labeling in accordance with regulatory parameters. Data was submitted to analysis of variance, and the means were compared by the Tukey test at 5% probability. Principal component analysis was performed to evaluate the results (phenolic compounds, vitamin C and antioxidant activity) from the multidimensional point of view.
In general, the labeling of baby foods proved to be within the legislation, but with confusing information for the consumer. BF7-AAPO (apple pulp and juice, papaya and orange juice), BF-BAO (banana, apple juice and oatmeal) and BF-AA (apple pulp and juice) showed the highest vitamin C content (20–28 mg/100 g; p < 0.001). BF-A (apple), BF-B (banana) and BF-AA showed the highest TPC (7–8.2 mg/100 g; p < 0.001). BF-CP (cassava-parsley), BF-PCBCP (potato, carrot, beef and cassava-parsley) and BF-PCBB (potato, carrot, beef and broccoli) showed the highest antioxidant activity (44–48%; p < 0.001). High value of TPC was related to high value of antioxidant activity in baby foods. In conclusion, vitamin C content in the baby foods was different from those reported on the labels and there was a direct relationship between the content of TPC and the antioxidant capability.
The objective of this work was to evaluate bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity in baby foods. So far, few papers have reported on the subject as the authors seek to know about essential nutrients. However, this knowledge is important because these compounds can decrease and/or prevent inflammatory processes in the body.
The authors thank CAPES (001), FAPEG and IF Goiano for their financial support.
Sousa, T.L.d., Silva, J.P.d., Lodete, A.R., Lima, D.S., Mesquita, A.A., Almeida, A.B.d., Placido, G.R. and Egea, M.B. (2021), "Vitamin C, phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of Brazilian baby foods", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 51 No. 4, pp. 725-737. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-06-2020-0229
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