The company yesterday revealed the new name for its milk casein hydrolysate ProDiet F200 - lactium - and said it is looking for partners to market the product in new channels, including foods, sports nutrition and the mass market, adding the brand name to their packaging.
The ingredient is already marketed in stress-reducing supplements by France-based Dolisos, which entered the UK market for the first time with the product last year.
However, stress management offers strong potential for natural ingredients, particularly after the removal of herbal products like kava from many European markets.
Ingredia claims that mood disorders such as anxiety and depression impact the world on a far greater scale than generally recognized. Figures from the World Health Organisation show that 450 million people worldwide are affected by mental, neurological or behavioural problems at any given time.
US health authorities estimate that 19 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. And while consumers are increasingly looking for energy and wellbeing, they are also under more pressurised lifestyles and stress.
Lactium, the result of 12 years of research, was developed when researchers identified a relationship between milk consumption and a calming effect on babies. Adults will not experience the same effect, however, as their digestive system evolves after infant years and no longer breaks down proteins in the same way.
Ingredia used a well-known digestive enzyme to develop a patented milk casein hydrolysate that it claims will offer higher value sales than all of its other milk proteins and dairy ingredients.
"It is currently under development with a major food manufacturer and could be available in a dairy product by the summer," Fabienne Queva, marketing manager of health ingredients at the firm, told NutraIngredients.com at the SupplySide tradeshow in Baltimore, US.
"We have spent a lot of money on this ingredient and feel we can do much more with it, working with customers on co-branding and entering new sales channels."
The product is backed by five clinical trials on 190 healthy volunteers, which found 'a significantly greater positive evolution of stress symptoms' in five different areas.
"We're also looking at its application as a sleeping aid, not a sleeping pill but rather to combat stress-linked problems that could impact sleeping patterns. And it could also be used in products to help the symptoms experienced by people trying to stop smoking or those on a diet," she added.Queva did not reveal current sales volumes but said the firm is hoping to see lactium in each channel of every major European market.