AUSTRALIA: Fluoride in Infant Foods

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AUSTRALIA: Fluoride in Infant Foods

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Chandio N, John JR, Floyd S, Gibson E, Wong DKY, Levy SM, Heilman JR, Arora A - "Fluoride Content of Ready-to-Eat Infant Foods and Drinks in Australia" Int J Environ Res Public Health 19(21):14087 (2022) doi: 10.3390/ijerph192114087
https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/21/14087

The use of fluoride is effective in preventing dental caries. However, an excessive intake of fluoride leads to dental fluorosis, making it necessary to regularly monitor the fluoride intake especially for infants. There is hitherto a lack of information on fluoride content in infant foods from an Australian perspective. Therefore, this study aims to estimate the amount of fluoride content from a range of commercially available ready-to-eat (RTE) infant foods and drinks available in Australia. Based on an external calibration method, potentiometry involving a fluoride ion selective electrode and a silver|silver chloride reference electrode was conducted to analyse the fluoride content of a total of 326 solid food samples and 49 liquid food samples in this work. Our results showed an overall median (range) fluoride content of 0.16 (0.001-2.8) µg F/g of solid food samples, and 0.020 (0.002-1.2) µg F/mL of liquid food samples. In addition, ~77.5% of the liquid samples revealed a fluoride content < 0.05% µg F/mL. The highest variation of fluoride concentration (0.014-0.92 µg F/g) was found in formulas for ≥6 month-old infants. We have attributed the wide fluoride content variations in ready-to-eat infant foods and drinks to the processing steps, different ingredients and their origins, including water. In general, we found the fluoride content in most of the collected samples from Australian markets to be high and may therefore carry a risk of dental fluorosis. These results highlight the need for parents to receive appropriate information on the fluoride content of ready-to-eat infant food and drinks.
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