The research centre consortium, which helps industry develop ingredients, has developed its first ingredients ready for commercialisation, including a product for healthy active ageing. The consortium's industry partners included Carbery, Dairygold, Glanbia and Kerry Group.
Speaking at the industry event HiE in Amsterdam, Jens Bleiel, CEO of Food for Health Ireland, told NutraIngredients: “Science really sells. I think that’s a very good development. There is much more general interest in science and companies really want to understand what a certain ingredient does. Whether it then leads to an EFSA claim or not it’s a completely different thing.”
"One of our industry partners said it's manager presented FHI research results to one of the customers who said: 'If you had told me you're coming with such interesting data I would have invited many more people into the meeting."
FHI was particularly interested in glycaemic managememt, appetite modulation and performance nutrition and looked at age-related muscle loss, which affected some 30% of over 60s.
Its research into ways of increasing lean tissue mass resulted in the development of a milk protein-based supplement fortified with calcium and vitamin D for healthy active ageing.
As part of the University College Dublin, research was the backbone of FHI's work. It believed this was something the industry was paying increased attention to.
Claire MacEvilly, communications manager at FHI, added that its scientists worked very closely with the industry and were not just given tasks. She said this work could go on for a few years before coming back with results, but constant discussions with the industry was important.
'Toddlers need less protein'
Another ingredient developed by FHI was fresh toddler milk with reduced protein.
"A lot of people think we all need more protein but toddlers actually need less protein, so we've prepared fresh milk with reduced protein for them," said Bleiel.
MacEvilly added that it could be consumed by everyone in the family, unlike most products currently on the market which were aimed specifically at toddlers.