Its capacity to withstand processing at higher temperatures means the nutrient, Lacprodan DI-7017, can be used in food and drink subject to ultra-high temperature (UHT) processing, including ready-to-drink UHT beverages and soups.
Arla Foods business development manager for health & performance, Peter Schouw Andersen said: “To my knowledge, whey protein has never been used in UHT beverages before because of its sensitivity to heat. It is notoriously hard to introduce into UHT processes.”
“However Lacprodan DI-7017 is UHT stable at neutral pH meaning it can be applied to a much broader range of products. Coming from the clinical market, it also has a strong evidence-based foundation.”
Lacropan DI-7017 was originally launched into the clinical nutrition market in 2012 but now Arla Foods has its sights firmly trained on the mainstream market for high protein milk and water-based beverages.
Target markets include weight management and UHT beverages designed to increase muscle mass.
Whey protein is widely used in functional drinks used by bodybuilders and elite athletes because it accelerates the body’s muscle-building mechanisms, although this has not been backed by the European Food Safety Authority under the EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR).
Euromonitor figures for 2011 estimate the retail value of the global high protein functional food market at €1.44bn, but Andersen believes this is only the tip of the iceberg.
“This ingredient gives us the opportunity to tap into the market for consumer lifestyle protein-based products that are easy to consume and tasty.”