The Danish ingredients company already sells hydrolysates, which are hydrolysed or broken down proteins, as part of its natural whey protein range but said there is a gap in the scientific documentation that needs to be filled.
Call for documentation
In particular Arla, at the end of the research project, wants to be able to provide its sports nutrition customers with better scientific documentation on the effect of hydrolysates on muscle growth and recovery after exercise.
“Our customers have a strong focus on documentation,” said Arla in a statement. “We have chosen to look at whey hydrolysates in this project because their effect is less documented than intact whey proteins.”
As well as providing additional documentation the hope is that the new research project will inform product development.
Arla spokesperson Phil Witcomb told NutraIngredients.com: “The study will enable us to design new hydrolysates specifically matching the demands of sports recovery. We will be able to find out exactly what attributes next generation hydrolysates will need for this area.”
Arla is running the research as an industrial PhD in collaboration with Aarhus University in Denmark.
Sports science graduate, and now PhD student, Stine Klejs Rahbek will conduct the research, splitting her time between the university and the factories, labs and nutrition business area of Arla. Rahbek will spend much of her time designing and implementing clinical trials, as well as analysing the results.
Arla currently markets a range of partially and extensively hydrolysed proteins under the Lacprodan and Peptigen brands for use in the infant, sports and clinical nutrition markets.
The Danish supplier claims that hydrolysates accelerate recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage and facilitate fast recovery of muscle strength. Compared to non-hydrolysed whey proteins, Arla said whey protein hydrolysates provide a more rapid recovery.
Financial support for the new research has been provided by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.