Arla formulates protein-rich drinks for people living with chronic kidney disease

By Teodora Lyubomirova contact

- Last updated on GMT

"It’s up to end-product manufacturers to decide which flavors work best for them. We’ve suggested strawberry and blood orange, but that’s purely for their inspiration." Image: Arla Foods Ingredients
"It’s up to end-product manufacturers to decide which flavors work best for them. We’ve suggested strawberry and blood orange, but that’s purely for their inspiration." Image: Arla Foods Ingredients

Related tags: Nutritional supplements, protein supplements, Dietary supplement, Nutrition, Whey

The dairy giant has come up two drink prototypes that could deliver key nutritional benefits to those affected by renal disease and living on low-mineral diets.

Arla Foods Ingredients, a subsidiary of Arla Foods, has introduced a concept for a ready-to-drink (RTD) solution and a high-protein shot that will enable consumers with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to gain the nutritional value required by their diets.

The formulations are high in protein but low in mineral content, making them suitable for consumption by CKD patients who typically need to avoid excessive intake of minerals for health reasons. Arla says it wants to close gap in the market, where many commercially-available alternatives contain a relatively high mineral content.

“We developed two different concepts - an RTD with 7% protein, and a high-protein shot with 21% protein,”​ said Mads Dyrvig, head of health and performance sales development at Arla Foods Ingredients. “The composition of the RTD - which comprises 7% protein, 10% fat and 20% carbohydrates - is optimized for people with Stage 1 to 5 CKD.

“The second solution is a high-protein shot with 21% protein, which was specifically formulated for the dietary management of patients with – or at risk of – malnutrition, particularly those with increased energy needs, fluid restriction and fat malabsorption. It’s ideal for patients with early-stage renal disease and those on dialysis, who need high protein, minimal fluid and low levels of phosphorous.”

The RTD is said to offer ‘fresh, acidic mouthfeel’ and has a milky appearance, while the shot is translucent, with low viscosity and a ‘refreshing’ taste with no bitterness.

Achieving low phosphorous content

To come up with the right nutritional balance, the manufacturer incorporated its Lacprodan BLG-100 protein ingredient, which is purified beta-lactoglobulin - a key component that makes whey protein a high-quality protein source, as the company explains. Lacprodan BLG-100 is rich in amino acids such as leucine, but low on minerals like phosphorous. In low-volume drinks, the ingredient can be added to create high-protein supplements, which can be particularly valuable for patients with limited fluid intake.

“The addition of Lacprodan BLG-100 means it has a lower phosphorous content than the majority of commercially-available alternatives,”​ Dyrvig told DairyReporter.

Arla Foods Ingredients is hoping that the concept will be popular among manufacturers in Europe, the US, China and Japan. “In the EU, we recently received a positive opinion on our Novel Food Application," ​Dyrvig explained. "EFSA’s opinion was that BLG is safe and suitable for use in food products in the EU. It has submitted its findings to the European Commission, which is expected to grant final authorization later in the year.”

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