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FFers / mixed feeders. Maybe you all know this already, but it was news to me. SMA & Aptamil are...

(15 Posts)
NotOutingMyselfToday Wed 29-Jun-11 13:19:48

...exactly the same milk.

I was speaking to a woman a toddler group this morning who project managed the recipe change for Aptamil, she still works for Nutricia now.

Anyway, she says that there is absolutely no difference, apart from price, between the two formulas.

This may already be common knowledge, I BF myself so have never looked into these things, but just wanted to post in case it was handy to anyone. She said SMA is much cheaper than Aptamil.

verylittlecarrot Wed 29-Jun-11 13:41:34

She must be privy to very interesting information - I wonder if she shared the actual contents of the formula recipe. Also interesting to know what health testing or regulatory requirements needed to be met when project managing a recipe change like this. It's my understanding that formula is far less regulated than people imagine.

NotOutingMyselfToday Wed 29-Jun-11 13:48:24

Yes, I'm sure she is. All these weeks I could have been picking her brains about it and I had no idea. Bugger. TBH she seemed quite reticent to say where she worked, probably because toddler group as an unusually high percentage of extended BFers (is also BF her DC). I'd asked her what she did before and the answe was just 'oh, dull stuff. Project management hmm'.

She's a lovely woman so I probably couldn't have brought myself to ask too many uncomfortable questions anyway.

HettyAmaretti Wed 29-Jun-11 14:05:41


I think the OP was hoping to save people some cash rather than start yet another FF/BF debate.

gallicgirl Wed 29-Jun-11 14:12:40

Having fed both to my DD, I can only say that they had different effects on her so I'd be surprised if they were exactly the same.

RitaMorgan Wed 29-Jun-11 14:20:20

Are you sure it wasn't Cow & Gate and Aptimal? They are owned by the same company and are identical as far as I can tell - just Aptimal is the "premium" brand.

WiiDram Wed 29-Jun-11 14:22:33

yy was going to say the same as ritamorgan

NotOutingMyselfToday Wed 29-Jun-11 14:25:42

Feck, yes, it was cow & Gate and Aptamil.

Gah, sorry. As I said, I'm not up to speed on FF.

hazeyjane Wed 29-Jun-11 14:31:34

Aptamil and Cow and Gate do taste different though (having tasted both!), Aptamil also gave my dd2 explosive sulphurous smelling diarrhoea, which Cow&Gate didn't.

RitaMorgan Wed 29-Jun-11 14:33:57

I've only tasted the cartons and couldn't tell the difference between C&G and Aptamil. Switched from Aptamil to C&G last time they put their prices up.

wigglesrock Wed 29-Jun-11 15:43:58

Yes, Cow & Gate and Aptamil are the same, Aptamil is the posher Cow & Gate, a bit like Taste the Difference or Tescos Finest.

verylittlecarrot Wed 29-Jun-11 15:44:06

Who was starting a bf/ff debate? I was commenting that an industry insider would have very interesting knowledge which would be useful to know. I didn't mention breastfeeding!

FringeMonkey Wed 29-Jun-11 15:53:05

Cartons are different though. The ready-to-feed formula has a different recipe than the powdered, even if they are both from the same brand.

Loads of info in this report, though it is pretty heavy reading.

snicker Wed 29-Jun-11 16:01:48

DD's dietician said cow and gate and Aptimal are the same except Aptimal has fish oils. I think they do price it higher as a marketing tool.

FringeMonkey Wed 29-Jun-11 16:05:26

verylittlecarrot on page 72 of the independent report linked to above, it says:

"Food law enforcement in the UK is the responsibility of local authorities and it is the responsibility of manufacturers and importers to ensure that products comply with necessary legislation.
For a food such as infant milk which is the sole source of nutrition for infants, it would appear reasonable that there was central responsibility for checking safety and composition. There does not, however, appear to be any independent system for monitoring the nutritional composition of infant formula in the UK. [my emphasis]

Those manufacturers who responded to us assured us that they made regular analytical checks of their products, but these data do not appear to be made available outside the manufacturing organisations and were not made available to us.

In theory, trading standards officers can take samples of any food product available for sale in the UK and send it for independent analysis, often with a public analyst. However, we could not find any evidence that analysis of any infant formula had been done by trading standards officers in the UK at any time before we started working on this review.

Public analysts and trading standards officers whom we spoke to said that it would be too expensive and too complex to analyse infant formula and they were more likely to investigate other forms of contamination.

After discussions about this with a public analyst in England, however, some analysis of macronutrient composition (carbohydrate and fats) in infant milks currently available was undertaken in May 2009 and made available to the Caroline Walker Trust (CWT). Whilst most of the analysed values for fat and sugar were similar to the declared values, there were some differences observed between declared an analysed values of linoleic acid (omega-6 fats), linolenic acid (omega-3 fats) and arachidon acid (and LCP) as shown in Table 19. This is just one random set of analysis of a small number of products, so it cannot be taken as indicative of overall content difficulties, but it does illustrate variations in declared and analysed contents. A number of milks analysed in this survey had only 50-60% of the declared content of fatty acids present."

I think it is a scandal that we are relying on companies to ensure that their product complies with the strict nutritional requirements laid down in law without any independent checking of the composition of something that so many babies in this country rely on as their only or main food source.

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