SONDERHOJ, DENMARK — Arla Foods Ingredients has introduced Lacprodan DI-7017, a new whey protein concentrate that is stable in ultra-high temperature (UHT) formulations at neutral pH. The ingredient will allow companies to create a 100% whey-based ready-to-drink beverage for the clinical nutrition category, according to Sonderhoj-based Arla Foods Ingredients.

“Clinical nutrition represents a huge opportunity for food and beverage manufacturers,” said Peter Schouw Andersen, business development manager at Arla Foods Ingredients. “According to a recent Business Insights report, the market for R.-T.-D. beverages for use in the clinical nutrition environment was worth €2 billion in the U.S. and €1.6 billion in Europe in 2011 alone. Meanwhile, the total number of clinical nutrition patients is expected to grow by more than 7% a year between now and 2015, primarily because of the world’s aging population.”

Elderly people suffering from conditions such as sarcopenia, where muscle wastes away, and patients recovering from illness or surgery primarily drink clinical nutrition beverages. In the past, whey protein was difficult to incorporate into the UHT processes, and manufacturers thus used alternative proteins such as casein that may not have been as nutritionally effective as whey protein, according to Arla Foods Ingredients. Lacprodan DI-7017 now allows companies to incorporate whey protein into the UHT processes.

The new ingredient is available in powder form and suitable for use in both pH acid and pH neutral formulations. It has been shown to work in milky beverages typically used in clinical nutrition and in less viscous beverages that some patients might find easier to drink.