A long-term study from an EU-funded project has shown that enriching infant formula milk with oligofructose-enriched inulin, branded Orafti Synergy1, can reduce the duration of infections in the first year of a baby’s life.

The prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study is part of the EARNEST project, an EU-funded integrated initiative conducted across multiple sites. It involved 160 healthy term infants who were exclusively formula-fed and aged younger than four months at the outset of the study. From the start of the study until the babies were 12 months old, they were given either an unsupplemented control formula or a formula enriched with Beneo’s Orafti Synergy1 at a dose of 0.8g/100mL.

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Both formulas were shown to be well-tolerated and safe. Babies fed the enriched formula, however, had significantly shorter infection episodes, a lower daily crying time, and softer stools than the control group.

Anke Sentko, Vice President Regulatory Affairs & Nutrition Communication at BENEO, commented in the press release: “The research results are especially exciting because they reflect the first year in a baby’s life for the first time and show that the duration of infections was significantly reduced by the group consuming formula enriched with Orafti Synergy1. Without a doubt, this is good news for both babies and their parents. With the right choice of ingredients, formulas can be improved by enriching them with prebiotic oligofructose-enriched inulin and brought closer to the gold standard of breast-feeding.”