New patent for NZMP infant nutrition ingredients allows cognitive development claims

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

A European patent allows NZMP customers to position their products as beneficial for cognitive development. Pic: Fonterra
A European patent allows NZMP customers to position their products as beneficial for cognitive development. Pic: Fonterra

Related tags Fonterra NZMP MFGM Infant formula products

NZMP, the global dairy ingredients brand of Fonterra, has announced a European patent has been granted allowing NZMP customers the ability to position their products as beneficial for cognitive development.

This provides patent protection to brands using SureStart MFGM Lipid 100 and MFGM Lipid 70.

The patent (EP 2211629) gives protection until October 2028. It contains claims for maternal and pediatric formulations that contain complex lipids including gangliosides for increasing cognitive development.

NZMP marketing and business development manager for paediatric nutrition, Angela Rowan, said, “There is increasing consumer awareness of the role of MFGM complex lipids such as phospholipids and gangliosides to support brain and cognitive development in infants and young children.

“Our customers will be able to talk about cognition benefits for their products that contain NZMP’s SureStart MFGM ingredients due to the patent-protection. The patent provides an added level of credibility for consumer brands.”

SureStart MFGM Lipid 70 is produced by NZMP in the Netherlands and New Zealand. It provides a cost-effective solution to achieve an infant formula complex lipid composition closer to that of human milk, backed by science on the role of MFGM in infant cognitive development.

NZMP senior research scientist Dr Paul McJarrow said, “NZMP has a great depth of knowledge around ingredients, how they behave within formulations and the science behind them.

“We’ve been manufacturing MFGM complex lipid ingredients for more than 25 years. Research and development undertaken over this time has allowed us to refine our product offerings, so that our customers can offer their consumers MFGM containing products and the benefits thereof.”

The benefits of MFGM ingredients were confirmed in an infant clinical study, presented by NZMP in 2018. It found an infant formula fortified with a SureStart MFGM ingredient to enrich the complex lipid content, improved some measures of cognitive development in infants.

The patent is part of a family of patents that support the use of MFGM complex lipid ingredients, including SureStart MFGM Lipids in maternal and paediatric formulations for increasing cognitive development benefits.

These have also been granted in China, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Mexico, and Russia. The granting of the patent doesn’t guarantee freedom to operate for a specific formulation, which must be confirmed by the brand owner.

NZMP said human milk is the optimal source of nutrition for infants. When breastfeeding is not possible, infant and follow-on formulas are the only suitable alternative. When parents are choosing infant formula, they are looking for products that are as close to human milk as possible. Historically milk fat has been replaced with vegetable oils, and therefore formulas are usually diminished of the milk fat globule membrane complex lipids naturally present in breastmilk.

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