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Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2011 Jun;28(6):744-53. doi: 10.1080/19393210.2011.571795.

Lead, cadmium and aluminum in Canadian infant formulae, oral electrolytes and glucose solutions.

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Food Research Division, Bureau of Chemical Safety, Food Directorate, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and aluminum (Al) were determined in 437 individual samples of infant formulae, oral electrolytes and 5% glucose solutions available in Canada. In the electrolytes, Cd and Pb concentrations were all below 0.01 and 0.041 ng g(-1), respectively. In the 5% glucose solutions, Pb and Cd levels averaged 0.01 and 0.09 ng g(-1), respectively. Reported on an as-consumed basis, Pb levels in milk- and soya-based formulae averaged 0.90 and 1.45 ng g(-1), respectively, while Cd levels averaged 0.23 and 1.18 ng g(-1), respectively Average Al levels on an as-consumed basis were 440 ng g(-1) (range 10-3400 ng g(-1)) in milk-based formulae and 730 ng g(-1) (range 230-1100 ng g(-1)) in soy-based formulae. Al concentrations increased in the following order: plain formula < low-iron formula < iron-supplemented formula < casein hydrolysate formula ≈ premature formula ≤ soy formula. For example, in the powdered formulae, average Al concentrations were 18 ng g(-1) for plain milk-based, 37 ng g(-1) for low-iron, 128 ng g(-1) for iron supplemented, 462 ng g(-1) for lactose-free, 518 ng g(-1) for hypoallergenic and 619 ng g(-1) for soy-based formula. Al concentrations, as-consumed, increased with decreasing levels of concentration: powder < concentrated liquid < ready-to-use. Formulae stored in glass bottles contained between 100 and 300 ng g(-1) more Al than the same formulae stored in cans. The source of the increased Al did not appear to be the glass itself, because most electrolytes and glucose solutions, also stored in glass, contained less than 8 ng g(-1) Al. Corresponding differences in Pb and Cd levels were not observed. Al concentrations varied substantially among manufacturers; however, all manufacturers were able to produce plain milk-based formulae containing less than 50 ng g(-1) Al, i.e. within the range of Al concentrations found in human milk. Next to soya-based and hypoallergenic formulae, premature formulae contained among the highest concentrations of Al, ranging 851-909 ng g(-1) from one manufacturer and 365-461 ng g(-1) from another.

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