BASF and Nuritas harness AI power to create next-gen peptides

By Nikki Cutler contact

- Last updated on GMT

iStock / NicoElNino
iStock / NicoElNino
BASF and Nuritas have unveiled a new generation of plant-based peptides for regulating inflammation within sports nutrition.

Coined ‘PeptAIde’, biotech startup Nuritas identified the ingredient from natural brown rice using Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

BASF says PeptAIde affects cytokine release and can help to modify the immune system, potentially supporting physiological benefits after exercise. It is also vegan, does not use allergen materials and delivers a mild plant protein flavour appropriate for use in various sports nutrition.

Tina Low, vice-president of business management at BASF Human Nutrition, explains that inflammation, often perceived as pain, is a key concern of active people as it may restrain their ability to continue with physical activity.

“Initiated by feelings of discomfort, inflammation is regulated by the secretion of a complex network of cytokines, which contributes to a fundamental response to injury and regulates recovery in the body.

 “Our research has shown that consumers today are seeking innovative, plant-based solutions to help them better manage sports-related inflammation.

“PeptAId’s unique properties will resonate very well with active consumers and enable our consumers to take sports nutrition to the next level.”

BASF has exclusive license to commercialize the ingredient. The ingredient is now being produced on an industrial scale in Germany and is available in the US with commercialisation to follow in Asia Pacific and Europe by 2019. BASF is also working to get regulatory clearance to other key markets.

Consumer research

In a BASF survey, consumers were asked about the frequency of their physical activity and 69% of respondents indicated that they engaged in physical activities more than three times a week. 62% of these consumers agreed that recovery is a critical aspect of their post-workout plan and 67% of those polled would consume a dietary supplement to aid post-workout recovery.

When asked what their preferred product of choice would be, they revealed that a sports bar containing plant-based peptides, delivering the benefits of managing inflammatory response to their body would be an ideal solution.

BASF and Nuritas partnership

This revelation has been a long time in the making. NutraIngredients revealed the partnership between the two firms with the goal to produce these next-gen peptides in January last year.

Nuritas is an Irish firm that uses new tech and AI to discover novel food and health ingredients. It claims to be able to identify peptides ten times faster and 500 times more accurately than traditional discovery methods.

The firm gained funding from rock legends Bono and The Edge in December 2016 and a further €16 million in its first round of funding in December last year.

BASF is a German firm active in the human nutrition industry, offering essential nutrients including vitamins, carotenoids and high concentrate omega-3 fatty acids.

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