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Best Infant Formula Without Corn Syrup

Best Infant Formula Without Corn Syrup


Lactose is the primary carbohydrate in the milk of all mammals; that’s right, from human milk to cow's milk, and even buffalo milk, lactose is the sugar responsible for providing babies with the energy they need. 

So, if lactose is so important, why is choosing lactose-free formula all the rage these days despite a growing body of research suggesting that common substitutes for lactose, like corn syrup, may have health consequences for your child? 

Here, we dive into what corn syrup is and why it’s controversial. Plus, we'll walk you through our favorite lactose-based organic baby formulas with no corn syrup or added sugar! You will learn why we, and many others, love European formula as an alternative to conventional baby formula made with corn syrup.

Corn Syrups in Baby Formula: Everything You Need to Know

In this section, we discuss what place corn syrup has in formula, and whether or not this sugar is safe for your baby!


What is Corn Syrup?

As the name suggests, corn syrup is 100% glucose (sugar) derived from hydrolyzed corn starch. There are two types of corn syrup products: regular and high-fructose corn syrup. High-fructose corn syrup is more highly processed with some of the glucose altered to fructose producing a much sweeter product widely used in the food industry as a cheaper alternative to more natural sugars.


Why is Corn Syrup in Baby Formula in the First Place?

As lactose-free formulas have been growing in popularity, the use of corn syrup solids in formulas is increasing. Special formulas, like lactose-free formula, are advertised as a gentle alternative for infants suffering from cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA). Corn syrup is used by these formula companies as a carbohydrate replacement to mask the unpleasant bitter taste that many special formulas have.

The growing popularity of lactose-free and lactose-reduced formulas can be partially explained by parents’ misguided belief that their baby's digestive issues are caused by lactose. In reality, the research supporting this opinion is sparse.

Lactose intolerance is due to a deficiency in the enzyme lactase which causes symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea in infants, but congenital lactase deficiency is an extremely rare condition. Secondary lactase deficiency also occurs in a very small number of infants and is commonly due to a small bowel injury following severe gastroenteritis.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not support the use of lactose-free formula for the management of colic or behavioral problems related to feeding. In one study, infants with feeding difficulties were given either lactose-free formula, soy formula, or lactose milk-based formula for two weeks.

The results found no significant difference between the lactose-free formula, soy, or lactose-based formula in reducing the infants’ feeding fussiness. This finding aligns with many current studies that fail to find a benefit of lactose-free formulas in healthy infants with feeding difficulties in the first few months of life.


Is Corn Syrup Safe for Babies?

Is Corn Syrup Safe for Babies? | Organic's Best

Dietary guidelines recommend zero added sugars in the first two years of life, and studies point to long-term health risks for infants associated with the consumption of corn syrup. Evidence suggests that early exposure to sugars plays a role in shaping an infant’s taste preferences and increases the risk of childhood obesity.

Consuming added sugars has been shown to increase fussiness and other food-related behavioral problems in infants, such as a reduced enjoyment of food over time, which has been linked to the development of a poor-quality diet.

In addition to these behavioral issues, research indicates that infants who consume formula with corn syrup may have an altered gut microbiome, which has long-term health consequences. One study found a link between an increase in certain gut bacteria and a high risk of obesity in infants fed formula with added sugars compared to breastfed babies.

Of particular concern is the high glycemic index of formulas made with added sugars versus traditional lactose-based formulas. Consuming foods with a high glycemic index spikes blood sugar and insulin levels, which increases the risk of diabetes and other chronic conditions like heart disease and some cancers.

Choosing organic baby formula without corn syrup and foods with healthier carbohydrates that regulate blood sugar can help to prevent these associated risks. Keep reading to learn about our favorite corn-syrup-free formulas.


Baby Formula Without Corn Syrup: Our Top 5 Picks

Here is a list of our top infant formula picks without corn syrup!


HiPP Dutch Organic Cow's Milk Formula 

HiPP Dutch Organic Cow's Milk Formula | Organic's Best

Pros 👍

  • Lactose-based cow's milk formula

  • EU certified organic

  • Enriched with prebiotics and probiotics

  • Enriched with DHA (Omega-3) and ARA (Omega-6)

  • NO artificial sweeteners, flavors, GMOs, or preservatives


  • Contains organic palm oil (Sourced from sustainable and certified plantations in Ecuador and Colombia)

  • Contains fish oil (As a source of DHA)


Jovie Organic Goat Milk Formula

Jovie Organic Goat Milk Formula | Organic's Best

Pros 👍

  • Lactose-based whole goat's milk formula

  • EU certified organic

  • Enriched with prebiotics (GOS)

  • Enriched with DHA (Omega-3) and AA (Omega-6)

  • NO palm oil

  • NO added starch or maltodextrin

  • NO artificial sweeteners, flavors, GMOs, or preservatives


  • Contains fish oil (As a source of DHA)

  • The most expensive formula in our store


Holle Organic Cow's Milk Formula

Holle Organic Cow's Milk Formula | Organic's Best

Pros 👍

  • Lactose-based cow's milk formula

  • Demeter organic certification

  • Short ingredients list

  • Enriched with DHA (Omega-3) and ARA (Omega-6)

  • NO gluten, fish oil, and soy

  • NO artificial sweeteners, flavors, GMOs, or preservatives


  • Contains organic palm oil (Sourced from certified sustainable production (RSPO segregated) in Colombia, Ecuador, and West Africa)


Holle Organic Goat's Milk Formula

Holle Organic Goat's Milk Formula | Organic's Best

Pros 👍

  • Lactose-based whole goat's milk formula

  • EU certified organic

  • Enriched with plant-based DHA (Omega-3) and ALA (Omega-6)

  • NO gluten, soy, palm oil, or fish oil

  • NO artificial sweeteners, flavors, GMOs, or preservatives


  • Stage 1 has maltodextrin (but Holle Goat Stage PRE does not, it's 100% lactose-based!)


Löwenzahn Organics Cow's Milk Formula

Löwenzahn Organics Cow's Milk Formula | Organic's Best

Pros 👍

  • Lactose-based cow's milk formula

  • Plant-based DHA (Omega-3)

  • More DHA (Omega-3) & ARA (Omega-6) than required by law

  • Enriched with prebiotics

  • NO starch or maltodextrin

  • NO artificial sweeteners, flavors, GMOs, or preservatives

  • NO gluten, fish oil, or soy


  • Has organic palm oil (RSPO-certified palm oil sourced from West Africa and South America)


Baby Formula Comparison Chart

We’ve put together a handy chart to help you compare the best lactose-based baby formulas we've got to offer in terms of price and pros and cons!


Baby Formula Comparison Chart | Organic's Best


Is Lactose The Best Carbohydrate in Baby Formula?

Lactose is the most abundant carbohydrate in mammalian milk, including human milk. It is revered by experts as the gold standard of carbohydrates for infants. Lactose in breast milk provides almost half of the total energy required by infants in their first year of life! In Europe, regulations require that the carbohydrate content of formulas must be comprised of at least 30% lactose.


Other Sugars Found in Baby Formula

In addition to Lactose and corn syrups, there are some other sugars you'll see used in formula. We discuss the details of each of these sugars below!



Oligosaccharides are part of a class of carbs that don't spike blood sugar levels and are found in breast milk. Some oligosaccharides are occasionally added to formulas to mimic human milk. They also act as prebiotics, providing food for healthy gut bacteria to thrive, and in this way, benefit the microbiota of formula-fed babies!


Sucrose & Maltose

Commonly known as cane sugar, these sugars are made of two sugar molecules linked together called disaccharides.



Starch is a complex carbohydrate typically extracted from corn or rice. Starch is used to thicken formula, and since it takes longer to digest, it keeps babies feeling fuller between feedings.



Maltodextrin is widely used in European formulas, particularly in dairy-free and partially hydrolyzed formulas. It is closely related to corn syrup, but the main difference is that it contains very little sugar.


Infant Formula Regulations in America vs. Europe

 Infant formula EU vs US | Organic's Best

There are some differences in regulations for formula between Europe and the United States that are worth looking into, as they can affect the ingredients you'll find in your baby's formula. In Europe, formula is regulated by the European Commission, which sets strict rules based on the latest scientific knowledge for the composition and labeling of formula. In the United States, formula is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

One key difference between the regulations is that Europe allows the use of certain probiotics and prebiotics in infant formula, while in the United States, they are not FDA-approved. Additionally, Europe requires certain ingredients that are optional in the United States, such as DHA (Omega-3).

Moreover, iron is added to infant formulas at higher levels in the United States. In contrast, you'll find less iron in European formulas for infants up to 6 months. This is because the European Commission regards infants under six months of age as having adequate iron stores from their mothers.

Notably, the European Union bans corn syrup in infant formula and limits other kinds of sugars permitted in standard baby formula. Whereas the Food & Drug Administration regulates over 30 required nutrients in infant formula, but these rules do not cover carbohydrates meaning companies are free to add corn syrup to their formula.


Organic vs. Regular Formula: What's the Difference?

If you'd like to avoid corn syrup solids in formula, you may want to opt for an organic formula instead. Following is a list of features that distinguish European organic formulas from conventional non-organic formulas:

  • At a minimum, 95% of the ingredients must be organic and strict conditions are set for the remaining 5% of components (often the remaining 5% are things like vitamins and minerals added to make the formula nutritionally complete)

  • GMOs are prohibited

  • The use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides is strictly limited

  • Hormones are prohibited, and antibiotics are restricted for use only when necessary for animal health

  • Animals are fed with 100% organic feed

  • No use of artificial sweeteners

Learn MoreHow to Choose The Best Infant Formula: A Guide to EU Organic Formulas


How We Choose The Best Infant Formulas

At Organic’s Best, we carefully select our European formulas to provide you with the very best infant nutrition. Listed below are some of the criteria we look for when choosing the best baby formulas!


High Organic Standards 🌿

We carry certified European organic infant formulas that meet strict organic production guidelines. Many of these formulas also hold additional highly regarded organic certifications such as the Demeter seal which is the most strict organic certification worldwide.


Good Baby Formula Ingredients 🍼

It all comes down to high-quality ingredients. There are several key components we look for when choosing an infant formula:

  • Optimal Organic Whey to Casein Ratio: Since cow's and goat's milk contain different proportions of these milk proteins than breast milk, we look for infant formulas that provide a higher ratio of whey to casein to more closely resemble the composition of human milk.

  • Lactose-Based Formula: Lactose is the naturally occurring sugar in breast milk and the primary energy source for growing infants.

  • Probiotics and Prebiotics: These ingredients help support gut health and digestion.

  • Essential Fatty Acids: DHA and ARA support healthy cognitive development in infants.


Baby Formula Ingredients to Avoid 🙅‍♀️

In addition to considering what we believe to be essential ingredients of the best formulas, there are several ingredients we prefer to stay away from. We actively avoid corn syrup and other added sugars like sucrose and maltose.

 Learn More: How to Choose The Best Infant Formula: A Guide to EU Organic Formulas



Infant nutrition is complex, but knowing what ingredients to look for can make a difference. We explored why avoiding corn syrup in baby formula may help reduce long-term health risks posed by added sugars in your baby's diet. You can be confident in choosing one of our organic European formulas that are free of corn syrup and made with high-quality ingredients.



Please be aware that this information is based on general trends in babies, and it is not medical advice. Your doctor should be your first source of information and advice when considering any changes to your child’s formula and when choosing your child’s formula. Always consult your pediatrician before making any decisions about your child’s diet or if you notice any changes in your child.

Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby because breast milk provides your child with all the essential nutrients they need for growth and development. Please consult your pediatrician if your child requires supplemental feeding.

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