Glanbia develops protein-rich fruit juice drinks

Related tags Nutrition functional beverage beverage

Irish ingredients company Glanbia Nutritionals has formulated a
fruit juice beverage with whey protein isolate, thought to be the
first of its kind for the Irish market.

The beverage concept, to be unveiled at next week's World Juice Seminar​ in Amsterdam, contains Glanbia's whey protein isolate Provon, providing a 330ml drink with 10g of protein.

There are numerous beverages with added protein available on the US market but in Europe protein ingredients are usually formulated in nutritional bars. However there is growing demand for products with a higher protein content, driven by awareness of the Atkins and other reduced carbohydrate regimes that encourage consumers to replace carbohydrates with protein.

Avril Twomey, marketing manager at Glanbia​, said the company has seen increased demand for proteins in the last year, in line with this trend.

"This product concept is in response to the market,"​ she said. "There are no protein-fortified juices available in Ireland at the moment and I don't believe there are many in the UK."

Mintel estimates that around 1.35 million people in the UK are following low-carb regimes with around 40 per cent buying specialist foods to help them diet.

Two other ingredients firms - DSM and Kerry Bioscience - have developed proteins that can be added to sports drinks, with DSM's product recently​ licensed to sports nutrition firm Haleko for use in a range of foods and drinks.

Proteins are difficult to add to beverages and tend to be included in thicker liquids like shakes. But the latest protein technology has allowed the normally heavy, insoluble substance to be included in other drinks by using smaller protein compounds, or peptides.

Increasing use of whey protein isolate by sports nutrition companies and in diet products is already driving strong growth in sales of the ingredient, according to John Meropoulos of dairy research firm Proteus Insight. The global market for whey protein isolate has climbed from 8,500 tonnes in 1998 to around 12,500 tonnes in 2003.

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