NZMP expanding probiotic applications for North American market
Based on insights NZMP has garnered from the original launch in 2019 and its clinical research exploring the health benefits these strains provide, the ingredient brand said it is continuing to provide consumers with solutions to everyday gut-related and immunity issues. NZMP’s probiotic strains have diversified the brand’s existing portfolio and the new applications will allow for further innovation while pairing with existing offerings.
NZMP’s unique strains of Bifidobacterium animalis subspecies lactis HN019 (BifidoB HN019) and Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus HN001 (LactoB HN001) are clinically proven to provide consumers with digestive health and immunity benefits including improving gut-barrier function and reducing risk of certain disease, infections and inflammation.
Isolated from microbial cultures used in manufacturing yogurt and cheese, these dairy-free strains have been developed to meet three criteria – to be safe, effective and stable. NZMP’s probiotic strains are suitable for various applications including ready-to-mix powdered beverages, supplements, chocolates, coated protein or snack bars, yogurts, ice-creams, cheeses, fresh juices or fermented milk drinks.
Fonterra commercialized HN001 and HN019 in the 1990s and continues to own the trademark. Over the decades, the accumulation of clinical evidence from a range of trials has resulted in HN001 and HN019 being very heavily researched in humans.
The human clinical evidence from across generations and markets provides NZMP an advantage when approaching US customers who are often seeking suppliers who can offer clinically-backed benefits to consumers. NZMP said it continues to invest in research, giving customers confidence these strains will help differentiate them in the market as consumers become more educated in their food choices.
“NZMP’s Sports & Active Lifestyle unit has been expanding its portfolio to include specialty ingredients that are complementary to core protein offerings, including things like milk phospholipids for mental wellbeing, milk minerals for bone health or lactoferrin for immunity,” said Victoria Lam, senior marketing manager sports & active lifestyle.
“Market trends tell us that consumers are increasingly seeking more health benefits from their food and with more than 90% of probiotic products making health claims in the US, it makes sense to add probiotics into food or beverage formats, which can be carriers for various health-boosting ingredients.”
By extending into specialty ingredients and targeting additional health benefits, NZMP said it hopes to help its customers appeal to a broader range of consumers. This addresses the increased immunity awareness since Covid-19, where consumers have placed a greater focus on immunity solutions and more enjoyable, functional food and beverage products.
“For a few years now, we have been seeing probiotics delivery formats rapidly moving away from just supplements into the likes of cereals, chocolates and ready-to-mix powdered beverages – an area we are very familiar with due to our proteins business,” said Chris Ireland, US probiotics business manager, sports & active lifestyle.
“Fonterra is traditionally a dairy food company, which means we have complementary expertise in regard to how probiotics can be paired with other ingredients in our portfolio for food and beverage applications. In fact, we are one of the few probiotic suppliers with evidence of probiotic stability data for chocolates.”
NZMP said it is continuing to explore how to get more out of probiotic strains, including: Testing new applications that would allow NZMP strains to expand into different spaces and categories; using external accreditation or certifications, such as non-GMO project verification or organic status, to drive better premiums; exploring how NZMP can combine its probiotics with other ingredients, either from the current portfolio or new innovations, to create unique formulations or uncover where two ingredients might complement each other ; and undertaking clinical research to further develop evidence for emerging health benefits.