Research drives OPO demand in Chinese formula market

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Demand is on the rise for SN-2 palmitate, also known as OPO, for infant formula in China. Pic: ©iStock/vchal
Demand is on the rise for SN-2 palmitate, also known as OPO, for infant formula in China. Pic: ©iStock/vchal

Related tags: Fat

Scientific research is behind the popularity of OPO in China’s infant formula market, according to Advanced Lipids, a provider of the ingredient.

OPO, also known as SN-2 palmitate, is an ingredient that mimics the fatty acid profile of human milk.

In 2007, there were only five brands containing INFAT, Advanced Lipids’ OPO product. Currently, there are more than 150.

China accounts for almost 40% of the retail value of the $48bn global formula market. At the Food Ingredients China event, from March 22-24 in Shanghai, Advanced Lipids will highlight the growing body of clinical research that is driving the popularity of OPO in China.

Effect on bones

Dr Sigalit Zchut, the company’s chief scientist, will present the results of a recent pre-clinical study showing that INFAT may have a beneficial effect on the length and quality of bones.

Zchut said the two biggest factors driving choice of product in China are nutritional value and safety.

“Consumers actively seek out formula that contains OPO, which they know offers many benefits that are substantiated by clinical studies,”​ Zchut said.

“The more we have learned about the clinical benefits of OPO, the more demand has risen in China. At Advanced Lipids, we are leading much of the scientific research and innovation contributing to the success of OPO.”

Advanced Lipids is a joint venture established by Enzymotec, a member of the Frutarom group, and AAK, a global producer and supplier of vegetable fats and oils for the infant formula industry.

Related topics: Ingredients, Nutritionals, Emerging Markets

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