Paediatric Nutrition

For generations we have been a leading partner in the manufacture of paediatric nutrition products.

There is no question that breast milk is the best form of food for newborns and infants, and should be the number one choice for all mothers. However, some mothers are unable to breastfeed, which is why it’s important they have access to safe and nutritious alternatives.

When it comes to infant formula, we fully support the aim and intent of the World Health Organisation (WHO) International Code of Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes.

Breast milk substitutes are recognised by the WHO as a safe and nutritious alternative to breast milk for infants whose mothers cannot, or choose not to, breastfeed.

At Fonterra, we have extensive experience in the manufacture of infant formula, and are focused on producing safe, high quality products for you and your consumers.

We start with the best quality milk, and apply more than 55 years of formulation and manufacturing knowledge to produce the highest quality products. We have a team of world-leading scientists working to develop new nutritional dairy solutions for infants, and we offer a fully integrated packaging solution, based in New Zealand, where we produce, print and pack finished product that can be shipped straight to store shelves.

We have uncompromising standards of quality, safety and integrity across all sites. Our fully controlled and managed supply chain means that quality, safety and traceability is locked in, which is why we have a solid reputation as a trusted end-to-end supplier.

Our Products:

  • Paediatric Grade Whole Milk Powder
  • Paediatric Grade Skim Milk Powder

Nutritional Bases

  • Infant Formula
  • Follow-on Formula
  • Growing-up Milk

Specialty Ingredients

  • Dairy Complex Lipids to support growth, immunity and cognitive development
  • Hydrolysates to support digestive comfort and allergy avoidance
  • Probiotics: Bifidobacterium lactis (HN019) & Lactobacillus rhamnosus (HN001) to support immunity and potentially reduce risk of allergy and digestive discomfort
  • Lactoferrin to support immunity

Key Benefit Areas:

Gut Health

An infant’s gut wall starts off immature. With a long history in paediatrics we have identified a number of ingredients which can help develop the digestive systems of growing children. Dairy Complex Lipids can help mature the gut more rapidly by providing the building material for new cell membranes. We have developed probiotic strains, Bifidobacterium lactis (HN019) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (HN001), that have shown gut health benefits in clinical trials, and have been successfully incorporated into paediatric nutritional powder as well as yoghurt, drinking yoghurt, cheese, fruit juice, snacks and beverages around the world for consumption by older age groups.

Supporting Immunity

The infant immune system is inexperienced. Dairy Complex Lipids can help prime and balance the immune system so it doesn’t over or under react to challenges. Our probiotic strains Bifidobacterium lactis (HN019) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (HN001) have been studied extensively in vitro and in vivo to establish beneficial effects and safety. Compelling evidence to demonstrate their ability to stimulate the immune system has been obtained and published in peer reviewed journals. Rigorous human clinical trials, including double-blind placebo-controlled protocols, have been employed to establish benefits in different population groups, and shown significantly lower rates of fevers and common childhood illnesses. 

Brain Development

We have done extensive research on the importance of complex lipids for babies. The brain is a lipid rich organ and complex lipids such as phospholipids and gangliosides comprise up to 35 per cent of the total lipids in the brain. These Dairy Complex Lipids are important for the optimal development of the brain and visual function. The addition of our Dairy Complex Lipids to infant formula provides the opportunity to give the formula fed infant some of these important benefits.


Dairy Complex Lipids provide a barrier to infection in the gut. They bind to bacteria and viruses, such as Rotavirus, preventing them from attaching to the baby’s gut wall and starting an infection. Our probiotic strains Bifidobacterium lactis (HN019) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (HN001) have also shown protection benefits with reduced incidence of diarrhoea, respiratory infections and severe illnesses reported in clinical trials.

Digestive comfort

One of the causes of digestive issues in formula fed infants is the difference in protein structure between cow’s milk and human breast milk, which may make cow’s milk harder for some babies to digest. By hydrolysing the proteins in cow’s milk, it’s possible to ‘pre-digest’ the proteins and break them down into smaller chains of peptides and amino acids (hydrolysates). This means that formula fed infants can digest and absorb the protein – an essential nutrient for growth and development.


Around 2-3 per cent of babies suffer from cow’s milk protein allergy.

This means that in these babies their digestive system categorises the protein as a foreign substance and causes an allergic reaction. This can show up as eczema or skin rashes in formula fed babies. For babies potentially at risk of cow’s milk protein allergy, an infant formula that uses hydrolysed proteins may assist. We are able to hydrolyse the proteins in cow’s milk to the extent that the baby’s immune system no longer recognises them as foreign. This means they can be digested and absorbed normally by the infant without causing an allergic response.

As always, please see your health professional for advice specific for your individual health needs.