The authorisation comes several months after the ingredient gained a favourable response from the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) as a novel food (NF) in a variety of applications back in April 2022. The agency described the ingredient as “safe under the proposed conditions of use” in isotonic and sport 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 essential in triggering muscle protein synthesis, making it especially relevant for people focusing on muscle health.
Mads Dyrvig, head of sales development, health & performance at Arla Foods Ingredients, tells NutraIngredients the ingredient's low content of selected minerals, including phosphorous, also makes it ideal for patients with chronic kidney disease.
"To reach a similar amino acid composition, the only option to date was to supplement your protein with single free amino acids – which are characterised 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 the formal regulatory approval of Lacprodan BLG-100 from the EC, Dyrvig says the supplier expects to see many of its customers bringing new products to market soon.
"The geographical relevance of Lacprodan BLG-100 is global but the EU, USA, China and Japan are the primary scope initially."
The Novel Food authorisation process was a time-consuming one. The firm submitted its initial application to the European Commission in July 2020 and has undergone a process to meet strict requirements around sufficient and appropriate information demonstrating the safety of the ingredient, and its benefit to consumers.
There’s already a wealth of scientific documentation supporting the importance of leucine as a key 'anabolic trigger' and highlighting the benefits of ingesting high quality protein sources that are rich in essential amino acids. And the supplier is currently conducting several studies to demonstrate the potency of Lacprodan BLG-100 in terms of muscle health.
Innovating in partnership
BLG naturally occurs in the milk of many mammals (with the exception of humans) and is the most abundant bovine milk whey protein.
Arla Foods Ingredients announced its intention to commercially produce pure BLG at the end of 2021, in a first for the industry. This was made possible through its Open Innovation partnership model and the inauguration of a new Innovation Centre at Vium, Denmark.
Lacprodan BLG-100 is developed using patented separation technology that involves the crystallisation 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 bovine milk and WPI and the firm argues it has a more palatable taste profile compared to competing whey products.