Enfamil® is a product name associated with formulas for babies. The baby formula company began in the late 1950s and is owned by Mead Johnson®. Today, in many parts of the world, Enfamil® is one of the most recognized baby formula brands and they manufacture many different kinds of formulas for those babies who are not being breastfed.
The types of ingredients in Enfamil® vary based on type of formula. In the first decade of the 2000s, the formula company became especially noted for adding certain ingredients to formulas to make them more closely resemble breast milk. These ingredients include docosahexaenoic acid or DHA, which appears to have a positive effect on brain development. The base of each formula may vary extensively, though, and the company works hard to try to provide different formulas for different baby needs. For instance, there are rice or soy-based types that may be used for kids who have lactose allergies, which aren’t uncommon in the first year of life.
In addition to designing a number of base formulas, Enfamil® has products that can be used as a baby grows up and begins to eat more solid foods. There are a number of step up or second year formulas that meet this need and which may continue to have a soy, lactose or rice base. Step-up products are usually designed to provide fewer total calories and encourage the road to weaning.
While many of the ingredients in Enfamil® meet with considerable approval, a growing number of watch groups point to ingredients that may not be so safe. After toxic levels of melamine in formula sickened and killed a number of children in China in the late 2000s, considerable worry existed that the chemical was present in Enfamil®. It is present in small amounts in Mead Johnson® and formulas produced by other companies, and there is changing opinion on the degree to which this is safe, though presently small consumption levels are considered tolerable by organizations like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Another chemical of issue in baby formulas in general include perchlorate, which again is currently in formula in amounts that are considered safe levels.
There are many who are critical of formula producing companies, particularly if the company claims to produce products better than or as good as breastmilk. This is not a claim Mead Johnson® makes, and it’s important to understand that there are many circumstances where mothers may elect not to or are unable to breastfeed. Formulas like Enfamil® strive to put together ingredients that are as close to breastmilk as possible. While it's impossible to duplicate breastmilk exactly, from a scientific standpoint, formula companies try very hard to create good alternatives, using refined chemical analysis of breastmilk. These formulas then become the needed substitute for hungry babies, and the more refined they are, the better they provide nutritional support.