Fluoride content of powdered infant formula meets Australian Food Safety Standards


Correspondence to:
Helen Clifford, Queensland Health, PO Box 267, Southport, QLD 4215. Fax: (07) 5528 1681; e-mail: helen_clifford@health.qld.gov.au


Objectives: To identify the fluoride content of powdered formula for infants 0-12 months in products available from Brisbane stores in 2006/07 and compare this with the fluoride content of infant formula products available in Australia 10 years earlier.

Methods: A range of available infant formula powders were collected from major supermarkets and chemists in Brisbane, Queensland. The fluoride levels in infant formula powder samples were determined using a modification of the micro-diffusion method of Silva and Reynolds1 utilising perchloric acid and silver sulphate and measured with an ion selective (fluoride) electrode/meter. Fluoride content both prior to and after reconstitution, as well as estimated daily intake according to age was calculated.

Results: Formula samples contained an average of 0.49 μg F/g of powder (range 0.24–0.92 μg F/g). After reconstitution with water containing 0mg/L fluoride, the fluoride content averaged 7.09μg F/100mL (range 3.367–22.72 μg F/100mL). Estimated infant fluoride intakes ranged from 0.0039 mg/kg/day for a 6-12 month old infant when reconstituting milk-based formula with non-fluoridated water (0 mg/L), to 0.1735 mg/kg/day for a 0-3 month old infant when reconstituting soy-based formula with fluoridated water (1.0 mg/L).

Conclusions: Infant formula powders contain lower levels of fluoride than previously found in Australia in 1996.

Implications: This confirms that infants consume only a small amount of fluoride from milk-based powdered infant formula. Although soy-based infant formulas contain more fluoride than milk-based products, the levels still comply with national food standards.