Most ONS are milky beverages, but recent years have seen juice-style drinks emerge as a fresh-tasting alternative.
However, such products remain niche, accounting for just 3.7% of adult liquid ONS launches over the past five years, according to Innova Market Insights. One reason for this might be that the average protein content of ONS juice-style drinks is just 4.2g per 100g.
Seeing an opportunity for growth, Arla Foods Ingredients has created a solution that makes it possible to increase the level of protein in ONS juice-style drinks to 7% without compromising on taste or mouthfeel.
The new concept incorporates Lacprodan BLG-100, a 100% pure beta-lactoglobulin which contains 7g of protein per 100g and is high in essential amino acids, including leucine (1.13g per 100g).
The new solution is fat-free and the use of BLG-100 enables very low viscosity and stability over shelf life. In addition, it tastes less astringent than typical ONS juice-style products and provides a more pleasant mouthfeel, encouraging compliance in medical nutrition, explains Troels Nørgaard Laursen, Director for Health & Performance at Arla Foods Ingredients.
“Juice-style options are a promising alternative to traditional milky oral nutritional supplements, but there has been room for improvement when it comes to their protein profile. Lacprodan BLG-100 is a great solution to this challenge. It’s rich in essential amino acids – in particular leucine – and helps ONS deliver a more palatable drinking experience,” says Laursen.
Arla Foods Ingredients will exhibit at Vitafoods Europe next week. Other concepts on show will include innovative solutions for high-protein ready-to-drink tea and coffee, and a multi-textured bar with protein in every layer, a special edition of which has been created for Vitafoods.
Microparticulated whey protein
The firm also recently launched a new brand for its line of whey proteins based on patented microparticulation technology - Nutrilac ProteinBoost.
Rich in all nine essential amino acids, the firm says the ingredients in the newly named range represent a complete protein source. Additionally, they are easy to add to food and beverage products, and provide indulgent texture and mild dairy taste.
Katrine Helene Fruergaard Holm, Global Industry Marketing Manager at Arla Foods Ingredients, said: “Protein is the go-to nutrient for many health-focused consumers and for years manufacturers responded by packing in as much of it as possible. However, consumers are increasingly focused not just on getting more protein, but also on getting the right protein.
"They want complete proteins that deliver all the essential amino acids needed for well balanced nutrition, and of course they want them in products with great taste and texture. Offering both practical benefits and high nutritional quality, Nutrilac ProteinBoost is the ultimate complete protein source.”