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Arla Foods Ingredients debuts new protein category, opens doors to Innovation Centre

Editor’s note: Welcome to Ingredient Innovation, CMN’s new segment exploring recent innovations and trends in the dairy ingredients sector. For this segment, we will profile a leader in the ingredients industry as well as share updates on mergers and acquisitions and new offerings for cheese and dairy in ingredients — where flavor begins.

Photo courtesy of Arla Foods Ingredients

PURE VERSATILITY — Arla Foods Ingredients’ new Lacprodan BLG-100 is a pure beta-lactoglobulin ingredient that is produced using a patented new separation technology. It contains 45% more leucine — the main muscle-building amino acid — than commercially available whey protein isolates, and it presents a range of opportunities for medical nutrition and sports nutrition manufacturers, the company says.
Photo courtesy of Arla Foods Ingredients
HEART OF INNOVATION — The new Arla Foods Ingredients Innovation Centre in Nr Vium, Denmark, is located right next to Danmark Protein, the company’s flagship production plant that manufactures whey protein concentrate and lactose products. This new facility is designed to close the gap between innovation and full-scale production.

VIBY, Denmark — Arla Foods Ingredients, a global leader in value-added whey solutions, this month opened the doors of a new innovation center in Nr Vium, Denmark, and announced a new protein category with its new Lacprodan BLG-100.

Launched Oct. 8 at the new Arla Foods Ingredients Innovation Centre, Lacprodan BLG-100 is a pure BLG (beta-lactoglobulin) ingredient with a unique profile. Arla showcased this new ingredient to the U.S. health and nutrition industry this week during SupplySide West in Las Vegas.

Lacprodan BLG-100 is produced using a patented new separation technology and contains 45% more leucine — the main muscle-building amino acid — than commercially available whey protein isolates, Arla Foods Ingredients says, adding that it has become the first supplier with the capacity for commercial production of pure BLG.

The development of this new protein category presents a range of opportunities for medical nutrition and sports nutrition manufacturers, Arla notes.

In medical applications, consuming high-quality protein in sufficient amounts is a key nutritional need for patients and elderly people, Arla explains, and the high leucine content of Lacprodan BLG-100 means it can support muscle protein synthesis to minimize the loss of muscle mass and sustain physical mobility.

Additionally, Arla says Lacprodan BLG-100 provides a more appealing taste than other commercially available proteins, which encourages compliance with nutritional routines. It also is low in minerals, especially phosphorous, making it suitable for patients with kidney problems.

Lacprodan BLG-100 enables very high protein concentrates (as high as 23%) in very small ready-to-drink serving sizes, Arla adds, noting its medicinal nutrition applications include clear ready-to-drink formats and translucent high-protein shots.

For sports nutrition, as a pure BLG, Lacprodan BLG-100 delivers all the nutritional power active consumers need, Arla Foods Ingredients says. In addition to its naturally high leucine content, it provides 26% more essential amino acids (EAAs) and 40% more branched-chain amino acids than commercially available whey protein. It also offers better taste than leucine as a single amino acid. Easy to work with in sports nutrition applications, Lacprodan BLG-100 is ideal for clear ready-to-drink beverages and powder shakes, the company says.

“BLG as a pure ingredient is a whole new protein category, and one with enormous benefits,” says Troels Nørgaard Laursen, director, health and performance nutrition, Arla Foods Ingredients. “Setting new standards for purity, Lacprodan BLG-100 has an unbeatable nutritional profile — it’s by far the most leucine-rich natural protein ingredient on the market. Not only that, but it also overcomes palatability and application issues, offering exciting opportunities in both the medicinal nutrition and sports nutrition sectors.”

The company notes its commercial production of Lacprodan BLG-100 was made possible by “Open Innovation” — Arla Foods Ingredients’ model of working partnerships, and the concept at the heart of the new Arla Foods Ingredients Innovation Centre.

Dedicated to helping “discover and deliver all the wonders whey can bring to people’s lives,” Arla says the new center will develop new ingredients for food, sports nutrition, infant nutrition and medical nutrition. It also will connect leading scientists, technicians and industry professionals from around the world. With this new facility, Arla Foods Ingredients says it will be able to further tap into the growth of its specialized ingredients by intensifying its innovation efforts and taking its business to the next level within its core markets in Europe, China and the Americas, as well as newer markets.

The 9,000-square-meter Innovation Centre will be home to up to 100 scientists and technicians who will have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories for clinical trials, a pilot plant and office spaces. Here they will be able to cover all aspects of research and development within whey and milk, from advanced separation technology to improved functionality and shelf life.

The Innovation Centre is located right next to Danmark Protein, Arla Foods Ingredients’ flagship production plant that manufactures whey protein concentrate and lactose products, including for infant nutrition. This location is key for success as it closes the gap between innovation and full-scale production, the company notes.

“It was vital for us for the Innovation Centre to be at the heart of our supply chain,” says Niels Østergaard, vice president of research and development, Arla Foods Ingredients. “This is the closest to the highest quality raw materials that it could possibly be, enabling us to fine-tune ideas and scale them up in one quick and streamlined process. This is truly living up to our purpose of delivering the wonders of whey.”

The center also is designed to create collaborations between leading university researchers, doctoral students and industry professionals. Partners will include academic institutions in Denmark (including Copenhagen and Aarhus universities) and other countries (including University of California, Davis), as well as technology suppliers and Arla Foods Ingredients’ customers in the food and nutrition industries.

“It will deliver a huge boost to our research and development capabilities, and we’re incredibly excited about the possibilities it offers,” Østergaard says. “Working with our scientific and industry partners, we’ll be able to undertake more research, embark on ambitious new projects and innovate to tackle some of the world’s most urgent food and nutrition challenges.”

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