Fonterra dairy protein innovation dairynews7x7

The market for dairy proteins is diversifying and moving into the popular health and wellness categories, such as gut health and functional foods. Moreover, consumers and companies increasingly seek out offerings that address specific health needs and that are obtained through sustainable practices.

At the same time, advancements in dairy protein technology, which previously focused on sports nutrition, enhance the nutritional benefits, taste, texture and ingredient variety, opening even more avenues for innovation.

Nutrition Insight sits down with Dr. Shakti Singh, the category and innovation manager for proteins at Fonterra, to better understand this growing space and how the company is meeting evolving customer demands.

“Protein is a macronutrient that has clinically proven health benefits and hence is of high interest across broad consumer groups, from the young to the elderly, for muscle recovery, weight management and general health and well-being for both physical well-being and immunity,” Singh explains. “The global consumer has started to put weight behind other well-being benefits, especially mental health.”

“We see a consumer need for nutritional solutions catering to holistic well-being — brain, body and inner — without compromising on the taste and texture of high protein products. These are key factors driving our product development and innovation in the protein area.”

Addressing the trends
Innova Market Insights’ data suggests a 13% annual growth in supplement and sports nutrition products featuring dairy-based proteins between July 2021 and June 2023. Over 50% of these were sports powders, with whey protein isolate (WPI) being the most used ingredient and casein protein leading in innovation.

Additionally, Fonterra highlights that its own consumer research reveals that time constraints are a major obstacle for consumers in meeting their nutrition objectives. Consequently, Singh states that consumers are open to incorporating ingredients like dairy proteins in a variety of forms to enhance and improve their overall health.

“Various consumer lifestyles, motivations and barriers should be incorporated into dairy protein innovation to effectively tailor their solutions and build deeper consumer relationships,” he emphasizes. “Protein consumption and the clinically proven health benefits of protein drives the need for more efficient delivery of protein or more protein per serving.”

“Taste and texture expectations also must be met for repeat purchase, especially for mainstream consumers. Hence many formulators turn to proteins with specialized functionalities, such as NZMP ProOptima WPC, to manage taste, texture and stability to enable everyday foods to be nutritionally enhanced with elevated protein.”Fonterra’s research shows time limitations hinder nutrition goals, leading consumers to seek multifunctional options.

Honing in on gut axes
Singh also spotlights that NZMP leverages the Nutiani by Fonterra brand to add more functional health benefits in convenient formats — expanding from just physical wellness to a comprehensive approach that includes brain and body health that encompasses mental well-being, digestive health, mood regulation, immune system support and sleep quality improvement.

Furthermore, in its recent Global State of Health and Wellbeing report, Nutiani revealed that a majority of global consumers feel that their mental health impacts their physical health. Singh says this is why the company sees such importance in leveraging ingredients like Nutiani’s phospholipids to address mental well-being and brain health claims.

For instance, Singh states that Fonterra’s Nutiani Broad Spectrum Phospholipids 70 — a whey protein concentrate (WPC) rich in fats — offers a high level of premium phospholipids, which contribute to improved mental focus and stress resilience.

“Nutiani Lactoferrin is also a fantastic ingredient for skin health,” he adds. “Clinical trials have shown benefits in people with acne.”

“Women are often diagnosed with iron deficiency, and poor skin appearance is one of its symptoms. Lactoferrin helps with iron absorption.”

He further points out that NZMP Pro-Optima WPC 567 boosts protein levels in yogurts while maintaining a smooth texture and pourability. Meanwhile, he says that NZMP Functional Performer Milk Protein Concentrate 4887 offers enhanced beverage stability, allowing for clean label formulations and shorter ingredient lists, enhancing consumer trust and offering clean label confidence.Fonterra’s Nutiani Broad Spectrum Phospholipids 70 have been shown to improve mental focus and stress resilience.

Seeking sustainability
Singh points out that sustainable practices in sourcing and production are no longer the concern of customers only but also the consumers as they become more knowledgeable of the products they use and the ingredients in their products.

Innova Market Insights’ data suggest that the idea of “clean” eating remains primarily linked to the use of natural ingredients. Still, there is an increasing emphasis on “clear” labeling, which stresses transparency regarding food production and its global impact. In supplements and sports nutrition, there is also a rising demand for natural and sustainable ingredients.

“Fonterra is actively addressing sustainability in dairy protein production, setting a 30% reduction target in on-farm emissions by 2030,” Singh underscores. “This initiative focuses on decreasing emissions intensity per ton of FPCM (fat and protein corrected milk) collected.”

“Methods include farming best practices, innovative technologies from collaborations like AgriZeroNZ, carbon removals from vegetation and historical land-use change conversions,” he concludes. “Fonterra’s commitment aligns with global climate targets, emphasizing a comprehensive approach to sustainability in dairy production, including refrigeration upgrades, net-zero carbon farm initiatives and research on methane reduction technologies.”

Source : Nutrition Insight Jan 19th 2024 By William Bradford Nichols

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Subscribe for get daily dairy news

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.