Similarity Index for the Fat Fraction between Breast Milk and Infant Formulas

Sanna Hokkanen*, Alexander D. Frey, Baoru Yang, Kaisa M. Linderborg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
91 Downloads (Pure)


The similarity of the fat fraction in infant formulas rich in either bovine milk fat (MF) or vegetable oil (VO) to breast milk was evaluated by analyzing their lipid composition. Milk fat-rich formulas were highly similar (average similarity index 0.68) to breast milk compared to the VO-rich formulas (average similarity index 0.56). The highest difference in the indices was found in the contents of cholesterol (0.66 vs 0.28 in MF- and VO-rich formulas, respectively, on average) and polar lipids (0.84 vs 0.53), the positional distribution of fatty acids in the sn-2 position of triacylglycerols (0.53 vs 0.28), and fatty acid composition (0.72 vs 0.54). The VO-based formulas were superior in similarity in n - 6 PUFA. Thus, the addition of bovine MF fractions is an effective way to increase the similarity between the lipid composition of infant formulas and human milk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6191-6201
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • bovine milk fat
  • fatty acid composition
  • human milk fat
  • infant formula
  • phospholipid composition
  • regioisomerism
  • similarity index
  • sterol composition


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