Protein to help cut cardiovascular disease

By Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

Friesland Foods will be developing protein fractions aimed at
preventing risk factors for obesity-related cardiovascular diseases
as part of a team made up of businesses and academics in Holland.

The firm will be joining forces with ingredients firm Newtricous, the Agrotechnology and Food Science Group, which is part of Wageningen University, and the University Medical Centre (UMC) to research new proteins. As a result, any new developments will be tested by the scientific arm of the agreement and then marketed through Friesland or Newtricous. The arrangement is a result of the Food and Nutrition Delta innovation programme, which stimulates the conversion of new and existing knowledge to new products and processes for the food industry. The deal will take advantage of Friesland's knowledge in milk protein and Newtricous expertise in egg protein. Dr Aart van Amerongen, Agrotechnology and Food Sciences Group research institute (AFSG) of Wageningen Univeristy explained: "This project is a typical example of a partnership in which our institute is responsible for the process from relevant biomarkers and protein sources to the development of biologically active components."UMCG/Angtec test the protein fractions in vivo and the companies market the functional foods/nutraceuticals." ​ A spokesperson was not available for further details on how protein fractions can be used to cut cardiovascular disease (CVD), but this move taps into two of the biggest health problems health threats faced today: obesity and CVD. Obesity is a massive problem globally and presents new opportunities to the food industry to help find solutions. Rising obesity also has a huge impact on public health services, and a UK report by Foresight predicted the cost of the epidemic could reach £45bn (€62) a year by 2050. It also said as much as half of the UK adult population will be obese in the next forty years. CVD causes almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe, and is reported to cost the EU economy an estimated €169 billion ($202 billion) per year. According to Danish 3A Business Consulting the global value for protein fractions is more than $1bn (€0.67bn). The US remains the biggest producer at 187,000 tonnes a year followed by Europe with 159,000. Friesland managing director Roelof Joosten, said "Frieslandactively responds to the changing role of food ingredients, which are increasingly required to have a health-promoting effect. The co-operation fits in perfectly with our strategy of developing and selling innovative functional ingredients." ​ Earlier this month Friesland Foods entered into a partnership with Novasep Process aimed at accelerating production times while developing purification technologies and reducing cost for the functional foods and dairy markets. ​The two companies signed a deal, which will last five years, for the joint development of separation technology to extract more beneficial components from dairy ingredients, specifically whey, and fruit extracts to improve the quality of existing ingredients. Dutch company Friesland Foods Demo is an international company that develops, produces and markets whey and milk-based ingredients, as well as nutritional fruit-based drinks and ingredients. It supplies these to infant nutrition, food and pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Companies are turning to similar arrangements between industry and academics to help pool resources and gain an edge in scientific breakthroughs for food. Last week Nestle Research Centre announced joined a team of top companies and science institutes which will let it take advantage of new discoveries made in the field of genomics, by joining forces with the Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation, Netherlands.

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