Nutrition products for preterm infants: Do they meet requirements? Discoveries from the infant enteral feeding tender

Authors

  • Melissa Gilroy,

    Corresponding author
    • Neonatal and Paediatric Dietitians, Mater Health Services, Level 3 Mater Children's Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Denise Page

    1. Neonatal and Paediatric Dietitians, Mater Health Services, Level 3 Mater Children's Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • M. Gilroy, APD, Neonatal and Paediatric Dietitian – Advanced
  • D. Page, APD, Neonatal and Paediatric Dietitian – Advanced
  • Both authors contributed equally.

Correspondence: M. Gilroy, Neonatal and Paediatric Dietitians, Mater Health Services, Level 3 Mater Children's Hospital, Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane, Qld 4101, Australia. Email: melissa.gilroy@mater.org.au

Abstract

Aim

The objectives of the present study were to determine if products marketed for preterm and term infants in 2009 met the recommendations for these groups, and to review macronutrient, micronutrient and product specifications through the development of a novel and robust approach to the clinical nutrition component of the infant feeding tender.

Methods

Tender applicants were requested to provide information in a standardised format to allow product comparison. In total, 28 macronutrients and micronutrients for each formulation were tabulated and compared at standard feeding volumes with reasonable nutrient intakes for preterm infants and nutrient reference values for term infants. In addition, other product specifications were considered with current evidence. A weighing system was developed; meeting essential clinical nutrient requirements contributed a possible 80% and other product specifications, including desirable clinical requirements, contributed a possible 20% of the total score.

Results

Nutrition products marketed for preterm infants varied in their ability to meet the reasonable nutrient intakes at usual intake volumes. All products tendered for the term infant category met the nutrient reference values at usual intake volumes.

Conclusion

It cannot be assumed that products marketed for particular patient groups, such as preterm and term infants, meet the recommendations for that group. A review of enteral products addressing more than macronutrients and product specifications should be applied by all hospitals undergoing a feeding tender process for any patient group.

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