Isolation and identification of microplastics in infant formulas - A potential health risk for children

Food Chem. 2024 May 15:440:138246. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2023.138246. Epub 2023 Dec 22.


Microplastics (MPs) are plastic particles between 0.1 and 5,000 µm in size that can contaminate food. Unfortunately, to date, little attention has been paid to analyzing the presence of such particles in baby foods. The present study aimed to determine the degree of contamination of infant formula with MPs. A total of thirty products were subjected to analysis. The research methodology used included the isolation of plastic particles, identification and characterization of MPs using advanced microscopic and spectroscopic techniques. Microplastics were detected in all tested samples. The most frequently identified polymers were polyamide, polyethylene, polypropylene, and poly(ethylene terephthalate). The particles exhibited diverse forms, including fibers, fragments, and films, displaying a range of colors such as colorless, black, and brown particles. Furthermore, the daily intake of MPs by children fed exclusively infant formula was estimated to be approximately 49 ± 32 MPs. This poses a potential health risk for the youngest.

Keywords: Analysis method; Digestion; Estimation of intake; Infant formula; Microplastics; Plastic pollution; Polymers; µ-Raman spectroscopy.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Infant Formula / analysis
  • Microplastics* / analysis
  • Plastics
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / analysis


  • Microplastics
  • Plastics
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical