How is Kendamil baby milk made?

You might think it’s a quiet life here in the Lake District. 

But nestled in these rolling hills is a factory that’s creating something special! Because in the little town of Kendal, our family business is helping thousands of families across the world enjoy Kendamil; our award-winning baby milk!

How Kendamil came to be!

Over 60 years of R&D has created Kendamil, voted independently by ‘Monde Selection’ in Brussels as the #1 baby formula in the world. 

Our world-class factory is highly regarded as a ‘European Center of Excellence for baby formula manufacture’. Around us, the Lake District’s temperate climate is ideal for grass growth and has some of the finest farms in the country producing fresh cow’s milk, organic cow’s milk and goat milk. Our provenance - proudly employing over 140 local people to produce Kendamil, right here in Kendal, with the help of 220 local farming families!

Our CEO and Founder, Ross McMahon has always had a personal commitment to quality products that paved a better future for our children AND our planet. His dream of making better baby milk grew Kendamil into the INCREDIBLE business it is today. And, when we say Kendamil is a family business, we really mean it! Ross & Mags reared two sons - who have now grown up and joined Kendal Nutricare! 

When researching the best ingredients to make Kendamil, Ross spoke to parents across the world - and to his research team in Kendal - and realised that the commercially available brands at the time did not offer vegetarian-friendly options or whole milk fat nutrients! Having qualified in agricultural science (and been raised on a farm!) Ross set out to work with the farming community to discover the benefits of using traditional mammalian milk-fats in his baby milk range.

Now all grown up, Ross’ sons William and Dylan work beside him, helping make their dad’s dream a reality. Every day, the team at Kendamil work enthusiastically to create the best baby formulas (and more!) on the market.

 

Kendamil is proudly different from other formulas on the market. And we can talk about our marvellous milk-fat nutrient-filled formula (a bit of a mouthful) until the cows come home. But have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes?

🐮 Happy cows make tasty milk! 🐮

Here at Kendamil, we are delighted to have a close relationship with our local Red Tractor farms. 

As Ross will tell you, milk from stress-free animals tastes better. In his experience, grass-fed, free-range cows are stress-free and produce fresh milk rich in omega 3 with a delicious sweet taste. Ross has made it his mission to not only ensure that the welfare of animals is a priority but also that the ingredients used to make Kendamil products are as wholesome and nutritious as possible. 

After taking in fresh deliveries daily from local farmers of liquid milk, we pasteurise the milk in our Kendal factory (which runs on 100% renewable energy), blend it with essential vitamins and minerals, and spray dry it into a golden particulate powder. 

Most of our competitors buy in all their powders already dried, for convenience. Those competitors then have to rewet these powders and then redry them again which denatures their protein, this over-processing by big industries reduces the nutrient goodness and their nutrient bioavailability to babies.

Plus, apart from good milk fat in Kendamil, you’ll never find palm oil or fish oil in any of our formulas as we use marine algal oil instead — making our products uniquely vegetarian-friendly. 

🌿 Kendamil cows are ALL grass-fed. 🌿

Not only are our cows free to roam and devoid of stress. They’re also ALL grass-fed, which enriches their milk with nutrients to help nourish little ones.

Grass-fed cows produce milk with five times more immune-boosting conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). This is a type of fatty acid, typically found in grass fed dairy milk, that has a wealth of health benefits - from boosting immunity, to preventing obesity later in life, to keeping disease at bay (1).

Our happy, grass-fed cows ALSO produce milk with more beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K2, AND vitamin E! These additional vitamins, minerals and fatty acids are SUPER important in improving growth, cognition, immunity and development! 

The more you know, ‘eh?? 👀

🌟 Kendamil Organic formula range: the first of its kind! 🌟

Our Kendamil Organic formula is the ONLY organic formula in the world to contain Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs). 

Inside our baby milk are ingredients with naturally-occurring HMOs, specifically 3’-GL,4’-GL and 6’-GL which each play important roles in infant immunity.For example, 3’ Galactosyllactose (3’-GL), one kind of HMO found in this blend, has been scientifically shown to form a protective barrier inside the gut lining, blocking pathogens from entering the bloodstream (2).

Oh, and not only are we uniquely vegetarian-friendly, and contain ONLY locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients. We ALSO have a unique way of formulating our milk too. A process which gives our formula its award-winning name. 

🍼 The method to make our Kendamil baby milk 🍼

🥛Sourcing the milk for our baby milk! 🥛

There’s no Kendamil baby formula, without...milk fat! While other brands use 100% vegetable oils for the fat component, we use full-cream mammalian milk fat instead. We believe in the marvellous properties of milk fats - and they offer so many benefits, from less gut discomfort in your baby, to decreased constipation, to providing phospholipids for essential brain processes (3) - to name just a few! 

Where do we get our milk fat? We source our cow and goat milk fat from local farms close to our factory in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, blending these wholesome milk fats with (EFA’s ) essential fatty acids like linoleic & alpha-linolenic fatty acids that babies need. 

All our cow milk fat comes from grass-fed happy cows at 220 local Cumbrian farms right here in the Lake District, where our factory proudly sits. And they’re really happy up North because the regular rainfall makes the nutrient-rich grass grow plentiful. And happy cows and goats means tastier delicious milk fat in our formulas! 

When the milk fat arrives at the factory in its liquid form, it’s checked by our Quality Assurance team. The team checks the delivery temperature, tests % fat, % protein and checks for any water contamination and any other residues, to make sure the milk is safe for your baby.  

🏠 We source ALL of our ingredients locally (you could say we’re vocal for local!) 🏠

We’re very proud to be the ONLY British made baby formula, with the lowest carbon footprint on the market. Not only do we only use the absolute best ingredients, we believe in sourcing them sustainably and locally! It’s our commitment to being kinder to the environment, and to babies' tummies. 

Our local supply chain provides traceability, sustainability and knowledge of every step of the process, from farm to formula. We believe the freshest  ingredients are those grown locally, and we love supporting hundreds of local family farms and farmers. 

So, what exactly does a local supply chain mean? Well, it means better traceability, sustainability and knowing every step of the process, from farm to formula. Our milk is supplied by 220 British Red Tractor farms, our whey is from Somerset, our vitamins and minerals are from Kent, our essential oils are from Yorkshire AND our packaging comes from the Midlands!

🏭 Making the baby milk 🏭 

After the fresh milk is tested, it’s then pasteurised immediately - within one hour at the factory. This is a gentle heat treatment step to get rid of any harmful bacteria. 

It is then wet blended with whey, lactose, vitamins and minerals. We source our whey from Cornwall & Somerset and all our vitamin/mineral mixes from Kent. Essential fatty acids (EFA’s), like linoleic and alpha-linolenic, as found in breast milk, are added from sunflower and rapeseed and we add coconut oil as a source of lauric acid C12 (4). 

The wet blend is then gently heated to reduce its water content so by the time it enters our spray dryer it contains only half the moisture. 

In our unique “Filtermat Spray Dryer” the liquid formula is sprayed in at high pressure and dispersed into tiny droplets which as they fall 4 storeys, land like snowflakes on a warm moving belt. At this stage, there is still 15% moisture inside the formula powder, by the time the powder comes off the moving belt it is below 3% moisture and safe to store under gas.

☑️ More quality checking ☑️

The dried powder is now held in its intermediate stage in giant 600-kilo containers flushed with nitrogen gas, to keep it airtight, which is very important to preserve all the nutrient goodness. The containers are held for 10 days where they undergo further quality control checks to make sure the powder is completely safe before being sent to the blending and canning lines.

The bulk formula is then sent to our blending room where it is tumbled with other minerals like iron and copper, to get them evenly dispersed throughout the formula.

📦 Now to pack! 📦

The formula powder is then conveyed under nitrogen gas through metal detectors and into the filler where the metal cans are filled upside down, then a seamer closes the tin by attaching the base metal plate. Then the tin base is inkjet coded with the exact time & date of packing, the tin is then turned over automatically and an overcapper with a spoon inside is pressed on top, all tins then pass through an X-ray machine. Then 6 tins at a time are packed automatically into printed cardboard cases. Phew, that’s quite a journey!

The full cases are then stacked onto pallets by a robot and shrink wrapped. The QA team takes samples regularly off the canning line, which are further tested and no products are sold to consumers until we have received all satisfactory results back from independent UKAS accredited laboratories. The QA team also carries out daily organoleptic taste tests on each batch. Fun fact: we even welcome parents and their little ones weekly to taste-test and give us their feedback!

The stacked pallets are then moved to our warehouse where they are stored, ready for dispatch!

And voila!

They’re then ready to get delivered to 44 countries, nourishing (to date!) just under 5 million little ones across the globe!

🌟 🎨 Our formula process is a work of art! 🎨 🌟

Because we source ALL of our ingredients locally, supporting local family farms and ensuring that our ingredients are assembled, lovingly, here in the Lake District, we want to show you how it all comes together - in visual form! 

Because we think our formula process is a ✨ work of art ✨ we’ve come up with an illustrated graphic for you! Our graphic designer had fun with this one, folks… 😉

Best kept secret in baby no more! And we couldn’t be happier. 

🐮 Need to get your hands on some Kendamil? Find your local stockist! 🐮

We are conveniently stocked at over 4,500 retail locations far and wide across the UK and Ireland! 

You can find Kendamil baby milk on the shelves of Co-op, ASDA, Boots, Morrison’s, Tesco, Sainsburys , Waitrose, EH Booths, Savers, Dunnes Stores , Supervalu/Musgraves and more! Just type in your postcode below and we’ll find the stockist nearest to you. 

Click here to find a stockist near you.

👩 Our Customer Support Team are fellow mums and dads! 👨

Need some additional support? Reach out to us! Our Customer Support Team have helped thousands of parents! We're here for you.

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(1) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1389172305704448

(2) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33233658/?

(3)  Koo WW, Hockman EM, Dow M. Palm olein in the fat blend of infant formulas: effect on the intestinal absorption of calcium and fat, and bone mineralization. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Apr;25(2):117-22. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2006.10719521. PMID: 16582027

(4) https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/coconut-oil

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