Glanbia Nutritionals is preparing a joint US and European launch of Prolibra which it has been developing for three years. The firm is looking to expand into the market for healthy weight loss because it says the ingredient helps reduce fat without compromising lean body mass unlike other more traditional diets. According to Euromonitor International the European market is valued at $0.93bn (€0.68bn) in 2005. A 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled study in America threw up positive results for the group. Glanbia researchers found that adults consuming Prolibra lost 82 per cent more fat than the placebo group, and retained twice as much lean muscle mass. Full results are not being published by the company as it says it is awaiting publication. Prolibra is a partially hydrolyzed whey protein isolate, high in protein and low in fat and Glanbia's suggested uses for the ingredient include beverages, powdered beverage mixes and snack bars. The Irish dairy ingredients company will also receive two handouts from the Irish government, totalling approximately €9m. One will allow the company to improve its whey protein concentrate production, while the other is to help the company increase added value cheese capacity and produce specialized dairy proteins for the food and nutritional sectors. Sharon Rokosh, Granbia business development manager, said: "The results of the study provide the basis for substantiated fat loss claims which can be used to support finished products containing Prolibra. "We've had the study and resulting claims substantiated by legal review, so our customers can be confident not only in the benefits of Prolibra, but also in how to state them "Initial feedback from the market has been very positive. "We are continuing to research the ingredient, but in a targeted manner with potential licensees." The company announced the results of its first Prolibra study in 2004. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 42 participants, confirmed the effect of supplementing the diet with Prolibra. The study subjects were asked to reduce their caloric intake to between 600-700 calories for the study yet most failed to do so. However those taking Prolibra still managed to reduce body fat by 6 per cent over a 16-week period, according to the firm. Rokosh added: "The results of the second clinical study confirm and significantly strengthen the results of our first human clinical trial, proving that Prolibra is a safe, natural solution to healthy, long-term weight management." "The research clearly shows that Prolibra promotes significant fat loss and retains lean mass during dieting." Glanbia has not confirmed when they expect to release Prolibra, which is currently waiting for a patent, on the European market as NutraIngredients.com was published.