The approval comes months after the ingredient received a favorable response from the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) as a novel food (NF) in various applications back in April 2022. The agency described the ingredient as “safe under the proposed conditions of use” in isotonic and sports drinks, whey powder and milk-based drinks and in food for special medical purposes (FSMP).
The ingredient offers a unique nutritional composition with 40% more BCAAs than “normal” whey protein and 45% more leucine, which are key in triggering muscle protein synthesis, making it particularly relevant for people focusing on muscle health.
Mads Dyrvig, head of sales development, health and performance at Arla Foods Ingredients, tells NutraIngredients that the low content of selected minerals, including phosphorus, also makes it ideal for patients with chronic kidney disease.
“To achieve a similar amino acid composition, the only option to date has been to supplement your proteins with single free amino acids – characterized by taste challenges,” he adds“In other words, it’s now possible to get a protein with a superior amino acid composition without compromising taste.”
With formal regulatory approval of Lacprodan BLG-100 from the EC, Dyrvig says Arla expects many of its customers to bring new products to market soon.
“The geographic relevance of Lacprodan BLG-100 is global, but the EU, US, China and Japan are initially the primary scope.”
The process of authorizing new food was lengthy. Arla submitted its initial application to the European Commission in July 2020 and went through the process of meeting strict requirements regarding sufficient and appropriate information demonstrating the safety of the ingredient and its benefit to consumers.
There is already a wealth of scientific evidence supporting the importance of leucine as a key ‘anabolic trigger’ and highlighting the benefits of consuming high-quality protein sources that are rich in essential amino acids. The company is currently conducting several studies to prove the potency of Lacprodan BLG-100 in terms of muscle health.
Innovation in partnership
BLG is found naturally in the milk of many mammals (with the exception of humans) and is the most abundant whey protein in bovine milk.
Arla Foods has announced its intention to commercially produce pure BLG in late 2021, an industry first. This was made possible through the Open Innovation partnership model and the inauguration of a new innovation center in Vium, Denmark.
Lacprodan BLG-100 was developed using a patented separation technology that involves the crystallization of bovine whey under acidic and neutral conditions to produce an ingredient with a unique nutritional profile.
It is both chemically and structurally equivalent to BLG found in cow’s milk, and WPI and Arla claim it has a more palatable flavor profile compared to competing whey products.