The agency describes the ingredient as “safe under the proposed conditions of use” in isotonic and sport drinks, whey powder and milk-based drinks, and in food for special medical purposes (FSMP).
The ingredient contains high concentrations of quality protein (up to 23%) and 45% more of the main muscle-building amino acid leucine, compared with rival products. In addition, there is a greater abundance of essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids than in other commercially available whey protein isolates (WPI).
Vice President, Innovation, Niels Østergaard said: “Setting new standards for purity, Lacprodan BLG-100 has an unbeatable nutritional profile – it’s by far the most leucine-rich natural protein ingredient on the market.”
He adds that Lacprodan BLG-100 opens up new opportunities for sports and medical nutrition in applications such as clear ready-to-drink formats and powder shakes.
“BLG is unique – in fact it’s basically a whole new protein category. Its combination of purity, amazing nutritional quality and appealing taste will create a world of new opportunities in medical and sports nutrition.”
Innovating in partnership
Arla Foods announced its intention to commercially produce pure BLG last October, in a first for the industry. This was made possible through its Open Innovation partnership model and the inauguration of a new Innovation Centre at Vium, Denmark.
Lacprodan BLG-100 is developed using patented separation technology that involves the crystallisation of bovine whey under acidic and neutral conditions to produce an ingredient with a unique nutritional profile.
It is both chemically and structurally equivalent to BLG found in bovine milk and WPI. BLG naturally occurs in the milk of many mammals (with the exception of humans) and is the most abundant bovine milk whey protein.
Consumption of high-quality protein can help support the nutritional requirements of older people and patients. Larger amounts of leucine promote protein synthesis to minimise loss of muscle mass and sustain physical mobility.
This offers Lacprodan BLG-100 broad appeal among older people, for patients in recovery who have specific nutritional needs, and for active consumers.
In addition, it has a more palatable taste profile than competing whey products and is low in minerals, including phosphorus, making it suitable for kidney patients.
The EFSA opinion relates to the suitability and risks associated with consumption of the NF under the proposed conditions of use and does not cover the efficacy of the NF with regard to any claimed benefit.
The panel considered similarities to WPI, the source, the production process, the nature of the NF and the safety record of bovine milk components and concluded that “the consumption of the NF does not raise safety concerns”.
Findings have been submitted to the European Commission with final authorisation expected later this year.
Once the process is complete, and authorisation granted, this will be the first product from Arla Foods to receive approval under the new Novel Food Regulations (EU).