“We are delighted that MicelPure has been awarded the Non-GMO Project Verified seal and butterfly logo, which is the most trusted certification for GMO-free products in North America,” said Troels Nørgaard Laursen, director for health & performance at Arla Foods Ingredients. “This is particularly important at a time when shoppers are increasingly showing a preference for GMO-free foods.”
The butterfly seal, which started appearing front-of-pack in 2010, indicates that products have met stringent third-party provisions for testing, traceability and segregation to ensure that they contain no or minimal (less than 0.9 %) genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Animal-derived ingredients, including dairy products, are traced back to the livestock feed.
The appeal of the butterfly seal
Arla Foods Ingredients shared figures from the 2022 HealthFocus international Trend Study showing that 83% of US consumers are aware of GMOs (up from 79% in 2020), with 44% citing “GMO free” as an important statement on food and beverage labels. According to the Non-GMO Project, product sales in this category have shown steady 4 to 5% growth since 2020 (SPINS retail data), and brands bearing the butterfly seal experience a sales uplift of up to 20%.
“The demand for more and better choices is only growing,” Megan Westgate, executive director of the Non-GMO Project, told NutraIngredients-USA. “Today, there are currently 752 Non-GMO Project Verified dietary supplement ingredients for B2B sales and over 4,000 verified vitamins and supplements products available for retail.”
According to the non-profit project, non-GMO is also a crucial attribute in dairy because most GMO crops grown in North America end up in animal feed and because GMO non-animal dairy proteins made through synthetic biology have entered the market “largely unregulated and unlabeled”.
“Synbio ingredients are flying under the radar in the natural products industry,” Westgate added. “Some companies even market their synbio dairy proteins as non-GMO, which is false. In the absence of clear labels on products made with genetic engineering, the Non-GMO Project Butterfly is more important than ever.”
MicelPure’s U.S. potential
MicelPure – a micellar casein isolate (MCI) produced from Danish milk using gentle membrane filtration technology – contains 86% native protein and is naturally high in calcium. It is marketed across infant and medical nutrition, baking, dairy and sports nutrition categories and launched in the U.S. in 2021.
“Its potential in the US – and global – beverage space is huge and will continue to grow,” said Jakob Madsen Pedersen, general manager, head of North America at Arla Foods Ingredients. “In the powder space, which includes protein shakes, various brands have turned to MCI as the most pure and native form of a low-carb protein source.”
He explained that compared to other milk-derived protein ingredients, like milk protein concentrates and caseinate, MCI offers superior functionality in terms of high-protein enrichment, low carbohydrate content, calcium enrichment and great taste after heat treatment – making the case for extended applications in healthy aging, toddler nutrition and bone health products.
“We are already known for having the industry’s highest standards for quality and food safety,” Laursen added. “This certification for MicelPure further demonstrates our commitment to going above and beyond regulatory requirements and to meeting or exceeding the quality levels demanded by our customers.”