Microwave heating of infant formula: a dilemma resolved

Pediatrics. 1992 Sep;90(3):412-5.


Microwave heating of infant formula is a common practice despite concerns of infant scalding. Beyond the issue of physical safety, little is known about the effects on nutrient content of microwave heating of infant formula. Casein-predominant infant formula in 120- and 240-mL glass and plastic nursing bottles of varying colors were heated for 40 seconds and 60 seconds, respectively. Temperature profiling was monitored during the heating cycle. Analysis of riboflavin and vitamin C was made prior to and after heating. Topmost portions reached a mean temperature of 44.7 +/- 1.7 degrees C and 43.0 +/- 2.4 degrees C for all types of 240-mL and 120-mL bottles, respectively. Topmost temperatures were significantly hotter than temperatures reached at other sites. Routine mixing resulted in formula temperatures which could safely be fed to infants (35.4 +/- 0.3 degrees C and 33.9 +/- 0.2 degrees C for 240-mL and 120-mL bottles, respectively). There was no significant loss of either riboflavin or vitamin C. Protocols for microwave heating are given.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / analysis
  • Bottle Feeding / instrumentation
  • Equipment Design
  • Glass
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food* / analysis
  • Microwaves*
  • Milk* / analysis
  • Plastics
  • Riboflavin / analysis
  • Thermometers
  • Time Factors


  • Plastics
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Riboflavin