Carbery targets sports drinks with clean whey

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Protein

Irish dairy ingredients specialist Carbery is marketing a “clean tasting” hydrolysed whey protein range aimed at the sports nutrition market after completing sensory studies in conjunction with the North Carolina State University (NCSU).

The latest blend is a whey-derived di- and tri-peptides that the firm said is suited to recovery from exercise and muscle building. The ingredient was in development since 2007 and became available commercially at the start of this year. It forms part of Carbery’s Optipep range which launched in 2006.

Company marketing manager Paul Donegan told that the development stemmed from a recent collaboration with the North Carolina State University (NCSU) which conducted an in-depth sensory study on Optipep latest offering and other hydrolysed milk proteins.

Donegan said the study enabled further insight into “the relationship between flavour, manufacturing processes, storage and consumer responses”.


The company said the NCSU testing had provided it with a set of tools to better understand how to formulate whey extracts to make for cleaner tasting. Enzyme technology was the principle mechanism that allowed the bitterness typically associated with hydrolysis to be reduced.

The company claimed increased insulin responses that stimulate the uptake of certain amino acids into the muscle, “promote muscle protein synthesis and decrease breakdown by inhibiting amino acid oxidation.”

Donegan added that the new HWP could be incorporated into drinks, gels, bars and tablets and said the firm was already in contact with a number of manufacturers both new and existing.

Market trends

The company’ marketing manger told this site that the market for sports nutrition applications had expanded beyond just bodybuilders and sports enthusiasts.

“As focus on health has shifted towards the mainstream, final-consumer demographics have changed. Recreational sportsmen and women increasingly seek the recovery benefits of protein-enhanced products, but are not prepared to compromise on taste,”​ he said.

Donegan considered the US sports nutrition market to be more advanced than other markets, but believed the EU was showing greater interest in HWP.

As part of its research strategy, Donegan said Carbery would continue to invest significant resources into research and development.

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