Friesland Foods working with consortium to develop new proteins for boosting immune system

2 July 2008

Joint development of functional ingredients

Friesland Foods working with consortium to develop new proteins for boosting immune system Friesland Foods, Lactive and Animal Sciences Group of Wageningen UR are jointly researching new proteins that play a part in boosting the immune system.

Friesland Foods Domo’s expertise in the field of milk and whey proteins and a technology developed by Lactive for purifying milk proteins and giving them a specific health effect is being combined with the knowledge of the Animal Sciences Group of Wageningen UR. The aim of this collaboration is to develop a new range of resistance-boosting food ingredients that can be used in foodstuffs and infant food.

This co-operation has come about thanks to grants, including one under the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ innovation programme ‘Peaks in the Delta’. This programme is designed to promote area-specific economic development by taking advantage of opportunities and breaking down barriers. The area-specific programme in the east of the Netherlands focuses on enhancing knowledge concentrations in the areas of Food, Nutrition, Health and Technology.

Roelof Joosten, managing director of Friesland Foods Domo: ‘The role of foodstuffs is changing and ingredients in food will increasingly have a health-promoting effect. With its current products and innovations, Friesland Foods Domo is actively responding to today’s key trend, namely the importance of maintaining or achieving good resistance against disease. We are monitoring scientific developments very closely, and together with our customers, are on the lookout for possible applications in their products. The collaboration between these three parties matches our strategy perfectly, which is to develop and sell innovative functional ingredients.’

Lactive’s CEO Willem Fokkema is pleased that the knowledge acquired by start-up Lactive is being applied in concrete product applications so quickly. ‘Friesland Foods Domo is one of the world’s largest producers of dairy ingredients. It’s wonderful that we can work with them to develop nutritional products that can help improve the protection of young children in the first years of their lives. The Animal Sciences Group will be conducting independent scientific studies to assess the efficacy of our ingredients. I regard that as an important step on the way to development and commercialisation.’

Ruud Duijghuisen, Business Development Manager of the Animal Sciences Group research institute of Wageningen UR: ‘Healthy food is one of the most crucial issues in today’s market. As a knowledge institute, we are glad to be able to contribute towards this with our knowledge of influencing the composition of base materials such as milk or using models to underpin the health claims for foodstuffs. As is the case with this project, our preference is to achieve this together with industrial partners so that knowledge makes a real contribution to the development of new foodstuffs.’

Friesland Foods Domo develops, produces and markets high-quality milk- and whey based ingredients for (infant) food and pharmaceutical industries all over the world. Friesland Foods Domo has production sites in Bedum, Borculo, Dronrijp and Workum (the Netherlands), sales offices in Zwolle (the Netherlands), Malaysia, the UK and the USA and a global network of representatives and distributors. Friesland Foods Domo is a subsidiary of Royal Friesland Foods.

Lactive was established in 2005 with the aim of developing technology for using the health properties of the small protein fractions in milk to maximum advantage. These techniques are then licensed to companies for large-scale production and marketing. In addition to developing its own technology, Lactive also conducts contract research for various enterprises and organisations.

The Animal Sciences Group (ASG), part of Wageningen UR, focuses on developing and applying knowledge to sustainable and profitable solutions for the dairy farming industry. ASG’s aim in the food industry is to contribute to the development of safe, sustainably produced and healthy products.