European Organic Baby Formula: What Do They Say No To?

Posted by Rachel Horon on


European Organic Baby Formula

Organic foods are grown to be better than conventional foods. But do the European standards take it to the next level?

It takes great care to make the kind of balance that can nourish your baby. Not only does your little one need carbs, fats, and protein, your baby also needs vitamins and minerals to ensure proper growth and development.

Conventional baby formula can meet all of those needs, but organic baby formula makes it even better. Organic foods are grown to be wholesome without GMOs, pesticides, or herbicides. Milk that comes from cows that are raised through organic farming practices are not treated with antibiotics or hormones.

No Synthetic DHA or ARA 

DHA and ARA are long chain fatty acids that are found in breast milk. These are important in brain, neural, and vision development. Many baby formulas incorporate DHA and ARA, but some parents are concerned how these chains are obtained from its source. Even though seaweed and algae are categorized as natural or even organic, the DHA and ARA have to be extracted, often with chemicals. Solvents like hexane can possibly leach into the formula. Other companies will use synthetic DHA or ARA.

European organic baby formulas do not allow any synthetic DHA or ARA, nor do they allow DHA and ARA that has been derived from organisms with a solvent. Holle and Lebenswert do not add DHA or ARA. Hipp has included DHA and ARA from fish oil.

No Synthetic Preservatives

Preservatives help foods stay fresh while decreasing the risk of bacterial growth or mold. Synthetic preservatives can include vitamins C and E.

The European Union has high expectations for its organic foods, like baby formula that is 95% organic ingredients. So it is necessary for their companies to avoid synthetic preservatives when natural ingredients are available. There are times in which an organic ingredient is not an option, such as nutrients that are required for a balance diet.  Regardless, baby formula companies who have a high standard for quality will find as many natural ingredients to go into their product and go above the 95% expectation.  When you look at Hipp, Holle, and Lebenswert, you will find that they are 99% organic for that reason.

No Processed Refined Sugars

One of the biggest differences between the European Union’s Organic Board and the FDA Organic certification is the sweeteners used in baby formula. As long as it is organic, cane sugar, corn syrup, fructose, and even brown rice syrup is approved for U.S. organic baby formula.

European organic baby formula has banned glucose and other sweeteners for infants because it is too sweet for babies. They have a higher glycemic index than most sugars, and it can contribute to childhood obesity. When you look at the carbohydrates used in European formulas, you will find lactose or maltodextrin. Lactose is found in breast milk. Maltodextrin is flavorless and can balance the sweetness of lactose and even the milk that is used in formula.


Sometimes the ingredients are those recommended and approved by the organizations that create organic food guidelines. While the National Organic Program through the USDA regulates the standards, they cannot do anything without the approval of the USDA first. The European Union commission for organic foods including baby formula may be stricter on what is allowed and not allowed according to their organic standards. However, when it comes to the best interest of your baby, their growth and development, and the purity that goes into your little one’s body, they have strong reasons why they will say no to some ingredients over others.


Brows our Organic Baby Formula Products  

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