DSM claims that ongoing research for its milk-based PeptoPro, which was developed in cooperation with the Dutch Olympic team back in 2004, has helped ensure that the company is one of the leaders in the field of sports nutrition.
A spokesperson for the company told BeverageDaily.com that it was currently performing studies to review the potential of the ingredient for use in snack bars as part of a focus on a wider variety of food and drink applications.
Despite its European origins, DSM said that since the product first became commercially available at the end of 2004, it has been found in a number of products worldwide, especially in beverage products.
Last week, the manufacturer said that the PeptoPro protein hydrolysate was being used by sports nutrition group Born, in two new branded drinks that claim to provide improved endurance and muscle recovery.
PeptoPro is a casein digestion product consisting of small di- and tri- peptides (two and three amino acids units) that are almost immediately absorbed and assimilated into the body.
According to DSM, this occurs considerably faster with PeptoPro than with whole proteins, which require time for the body to digest.
In relation to the potential of growth within the sports nutrition segment, a spokesperson for DSM did not say whether the market remains a niche.
Although, they added that sports nutrition provides an exciting industry for the group to seek expansion in.
Both the energy and sports segments have shown strong growth in recent years driven by demand for natural ingredients that also provide “sustainable, longer lasting energy”, according to recent findings from analyst Business Insights.
The report predicts five per cent growth in the sports and energy drink sector up to 2011 as result of changing demand amongst consumers.
As a reflection of this growth, the UK is one example of a European market increasingly keen to associate energy products with active lifestyles, according to research by market analyst Mintel.
According to the group’s recent findings, in the UK alone, sports and energy drinks sales were up 11 per cent in 2006 to £773m.
Mintel claims that sports drinks appear to be leading this growth over more high profile energy drink brands.
“The sports drinks market has been especially strong, fuelled by consumer interest in healthy lifestyles including exercise, while the market for energy drinks has seen slower growth,” the analyst stated.