ELAION project aims for the first time, to utilize olive oil in infant formulas in a pilot scale infant formula production unit in the Region of Western Greece.
Exclusive breastfeeding is the first choice for feeding and nourishing the baby according to the World Health Organization. For a large number of infants who do not have access to breast milk, it is necessary to replace it in whole or in part with special infant formula and other baby foods. The content of fat of the infant’s food in the early stages of life provides the required energy for its growth and is also the carrier of the essential vitamins.
The current practice of the food industry for the production of infant formula is the use of vegetable oils produced in tropical and B. European countries such as palm oil, coconut oil and rapeseed oil. Unlike other vegetable oils, olive oil has a high content of high-quality fatty acids suitable for the infant. This makes it ideal for use as a raw material in infant formula.
The Coordinator of the project is YIOTIS S.A. The Analytical Chemistry Laboratory of NKUA and NHRF are participating in the consortium.
The main goals of the project are:
• The exploitation of olive oil as the main fat in baby food products.
• Laboratory synthesis of triglycerides for optimal imitation of breast milk fatty acids.
• Enzymatic transesterification of breast milk triglycerides using lipase.
• Development of pilot plant in Western Greece.
The present investment is expected to utilize olive oil as a model fatty raw material in baby food in order to meet the specific nutritional needs with a potential to commercialize it worldwide.
More specifically the following are expected from the project:
• Development of value-added baby food products using olive oil.
• Strengthening of the Agri-Food Chain of olive oil in the Region of Western Greece.
• Strengthening of the competitive position of olive oil in the domestic and foreign markets.
• Enhancement of the company’s turnover by integrating higher quality food.
• Development of new commercial activities in the region of Western Greece.