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Open Access The role of the Codex Alimentarius process in support of new products to enhance the nutritional health of infants and young children

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Abstract:

The Codex Alimentarius is a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and other recommendations relating to foods, food production, and food safety. Among other functions, it is responsible for setting international standards for safety and hygiene. Codex food standards and guidelines directed at foods produced primarily for young infants and children have important implications for maintaining nutritional status and health, especially given the positioning of these products as components of established World Health Organization (WHO)/UNICEF-recommended feeding strategies. Recently, new products targeted at this age group (e.g., lipid-based nutrient supplements and micronutrient powders) have been produced and used, but these are not totally covered under existing Codex guidelines or standards. The objective of this paper is to review the role of the Codex process and specifically to suggest revisions to existing Codex guidelines on formulated complementary foods (Guidelines for Formulated Supplementary Foods for Older Infants and Young Children, CAC/GL 08-1991) to encompass this new category of fortified complementary foods and home fortificants. In reviewing the existing guidelines, potential areas for revision included the sections on the recommended nutrients in these foods and their intended use. Updating the Codex guidelines provides the opportunity to encourage production and use of new products for children and help ensure that such foods, when used as directed, do not interfere with breastfeeding. The revised guidelines would help governments develop national regulations covering all forms of formulated complementary foods. They would also lessen impediments to international trade by providing clear guidance for foods used in feeding programs and for young children, particularly in developing countries.

Keywords: CODEX ALIMENTARIUS; COMPLEMENTARY FOOD SUPPLEMENTS; FOOD; FORTIFIED COMPLEMENTARY FOODS; HOME FORTIFICATION; INFANTS AND YOUNG CHILDREN; MICRONUTRIENT POWDERS (MNPS); NUTRITION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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