Protein ingredients are currently experiencing strong growth in the nutritional products industry, gaining mainstream focus thanks to the popularity of high-protein diets.
Calcium caseinates offer a concentrated source of milk protein but are more slowly absorbed by the body compared to whey protein. This improves satiety while prolonging the supply of nitrogen to muscle tissue, making them suitable for both diet foods and sports nutrition products.
However many of the calcium caseinates on the market require the addition of additives, most often soy-derived lecithin, to improve the solubility of the ingredient. It is often used in powders that must be dissolved in water.
"We decided to make a calcium caseinate that was soluble in water without the use of additives," explained Benoit Laplaize, marketing director at Armor Proteines. "However with such a high concentration of protein, it is difficult to achieve solubility."
Labelling issues are becoming increasingly problematic for European companies, with soy-derived products requiring attention both in terms of laws on GM and for future allergen labelling.
Armor, which also makes milk minerals, hydrolysates and whey protein gel, says the ingredient, called Protilight IP3, also has a superior mouthfeel to many competing products.
The product, first launched at HiE in November, is one of a small number of products in the 150,000 ton calcium caseinate market.
"We don't think there is a calcium caseinate that is so soluble," Laplaize told NutraIngredients.com.