Rousselot extends partnership supporting Olympic athlete nutrition

By Nicola Gordon-Seymour

- Last updated on GMT

Rousselot extends partnership supporting Olympic athlete nutrition

Related tags: Papendal, Rousselot, Olympic

Darling Ingredients health brand, Rousselot, has secured an extension to its six-year product development (NPD) partnership with Dutch Olympic Training Centre, Papendal.

The agreement will continue to supply athletes with collagen peptides (CP), expand on NPD, and continue with educational and promotional-related collaborations.

Rousselot has supplied CP Peptan​ to Papendal’s elite athletes since 2019 to provide post-exercise nutritional support and works alongside Papendal’s dieticians and chefs to communicate the benefits of CP supplementation to athletes and the general public.

Rousselot Global Director, Health & Nutrition, Gaetan Noiret says, “For decades we’ve worked to discover new ways to promote health and wellbeing through our high-quality and science-backed ingredients.

“Our collaboration with Papendal has allowed us to take this commitment to the next level, with real-world data on the benefits ​Peptan collagen peptides offer elite athletes, and potential applications in the broader active nutrition market.”

Market potential

Euromonitor predicts​ nutritional products containing protein will deliver a 9.7% growth rate between 2020 – 2025, driven by an increasing awareness of the performance benefits of sports supplements and collagen-based ingredients. More than one third of global consumers currently purchasing sports supplements do so as an aid to recovery. 

Rousselot Marketing Manager, Health & Nutrition, Pauline Huang, says the potential for growth is staggering: “The global sports nutrition market was valued​ at €14.56bn ($16.45bn) last year and is expected to reach €31.30bn ($35.35bn) by 2025.

“In the UK, demand for sports nutrition solutions is also on the rise, with increased​ sales of products including dietary supplements, sports recovery drinks and nutritional gels.​ 

Functional benefits

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and makes up around 30% of total protein content. It sustains the integrity, elasticity, and strength of the body's connective tissue and as such maintains the form and function of skin, cartilage, and bones. Collagen peptides are the hydrolysed bioavailable derivatives of collagen.

Peptan ​comprises a blend of amino acids (collagen peptides), including glycine, hydroxyproline, proline, alanine, and arginine, and is recognized for its ability to reduce post-exercise recovery times. Supplementation can help alleviate muscle soreness, support muscle repair, and promote cartilage lubrication to protect against wear and tear.

A recent UK clinical study​ demonstrated the efficacity of CP in modulating the recovery process, possibly by reducing inflammation. Findings showed that subjects receiving Peptan​ supplements experienced 20% less muscle soreness after intense exercise (up to 48 hours afterwards), compared with those who received a placebo.

Bioactive CP ingredients like Peptan,​ are also known to help athletes train harder while taking fewer breaks in their training schedules.

Huang explains: “Athletes must maintain an adequate protein intake during rigorous training schedules, to support the muscular-skeletal system and reduce the risk of injuries that can led to long recovery times.”

New innovation

In parallel with its partnership deal, Rousselot has announced EU patent approval for SiMoGel gelatin-based, starch-free solution for functional gummies. The patent will enable the company to add further value to this dynamic category with new innovative delivery formats, says Marit van der Heijden, global marketing & project manager.

She asserts that nutraceutical gummies achieved average market growth of 37.3% between 2016 and 2020 (Innova Market Insights), which has generated some exciting opportunities.

“In securing this patent, we are able to offer our customers even more opportunities for secure product development, allowing them to tap into the growing nutraceutical gummy market.”

Rousselot recently developed centre-filled gummies (or gummy caps), which combine the benefits of soft gels with gummies, and plans to team up with customers to develop 3D gummies in visually appealing and “palatable​” shapes.

Van der Heijden adds: “We are committed to using gelatin as the preferred excipient in this application, as we believe its many functional benefits and natural origins bring endless possibilities for consumers to enjoy their daily vitamins, and even medicines.”

The EU (European Patent Office) patent is valid throughout Europe but is pending in Brazil, Japan and the US.

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