Australian government backs infant formula research

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Fatty acid Omega-3 fatty acid

Australian government backs infant formula research
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) will continue a 15-year collaborative period with Australian food company Clover Corporation, by engaging in a new initiative to develop encapsulation techniques for infant and medical foods.

The Australian government-backed CSIRO and Clover omega-3 subsidiary Nu-Mega will work together on the $1.2m (€870,000) three-year programme.

“The research program with the CSIRO will investigate how nutritional bioactives can be combined in formulas with the essential omega-3 fatty acid (DHA) to improve their stability in processing and to enhance their nutritional impact,”​ said Clover.

“Encapsulation matrices will be developed that can protect the bioactives during product manufacture, influence their absorption or bioactivity, and to assist their physiological performance.”

Fragile nutritional bioactives

The CSIRO has long worked in encapsulation research in many fields, with a representative presenting findings in the probiotics area to the recent Probiotech conference in Milan, Italy.

Here there will be a particular focus on the use of omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA in which Nu-Mega specialises, and its use in infant foods, medical foods, pharma and beyond.

“The continuing challenge however, is how to stabilise these fragile nutritional bioactives, alone or in combination, so they can be used in the broad range of applications required by consumers and manufacturers,”​ Clover said.

CSIRO research team leader Luz Sanguansri said in press reports: “While natural breast milk is the gold standard, when infant formulas are needed to supplement or replace it, those formulas need to be as close to the real thing as possible. Many of the bioactive components of breast milk are not stable and their inclusion in infant formula is not straight forward.”

The project takes place under the Australian Growth Partnership Program which assists small-to-medium sized businesses.

“The AGP research demonstrates Clover Corporation’s continuing commitment to identifying market opportunities and providing differentiated proprietary products that meet the needs of manufacturers and consumers,”​ said Clover.

“Clover Corporation is excited about the commercial opportunities and the potential development of new products that will result from the collaborative AGP program over the next three years.”

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