Infant nutrition advancements: BASF launches human milk oligosaccharide

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17 Jul 2018 --- BASF is to launch 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL), a human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) for the infant nutrition market by early 2019 through its human nutrition brand, Newtrition. HMOs are a unique group of carbohydrates naturally found in human breast milk with 2’-FL being the most abundant. BASF reports it has successfully mastered the complete in-house development of 2’-FL from strain to downstream processing using a specifically stable HMO fermentation strain designed for large-scale production.

The German-based production provides the flexibility to reportedly enable global roll-out that will consistently meet customer needs. BASF has received EU Novel Food approval for 2’-FL and is currently supporting regulatory clearance to facilitate access to other key markets.

Click to EnlargeHuman milk is the gold standard for infant nutrition. When compared with infant formula, breastfeeding leads to favorable growth patterns, immune functions, cognitive development as well as positive long-term outcomes. For mothers who are unable to breastfeed, adding 2’-FL to infant milk formula is a substantial step in narrowing the functional gap between mother’s milk and breast milk substitutes.

HMO ingredients have featured prominently in the news during the first half of this year. FrieslandCampina Domo’s HMO ingredient was certified for use in infant formula in both European and US markets. DuPont Nutrition & Health’s CARE4U HMO became Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) for use in infant and toddler formula following a “No Objection” letter from the US Food and Drug Administration. The companies also gained regulatory approval for the ingredient in the European market.

Research findings suggest that 2’-fucosyllactose supports the development of a healthy gut microbiome and immune system, may protect against allergic diseases, and plays a role in the development of normal brain functions and cognition. Based on the ability to quench mucosal inflammation, 2’-FL is a promising ingredient fordigestive health.

“The development of HMOs is a breakthrough in the nutritional improvement of infant formulas. 2’-fucosyllactose will open up new opportunities to strengthen a child’s health beginning with infancy and even beyond that,” says François Scheffler, Senior Vice President, BASF Human Nutrition. 

"2‘-fucosyllactose (2‘-FL) is our first product in the group of HMOs. Development work and collaborations have already started to unlock new science and application potential in HMO functionalities. Apart from 2’FL, we also see growing market potential in omega 3 during early life. Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is an omega 3 fatty acid that is an integral component of cell membranes and as such, is involved in normal cell functionality especially in the retina and the brain of a child," Tina Low, Global Business Management Human Nutrition at BASF, tells NutritionInsight.

“Newtrition is committed to being at the scientific forefront of advancing nutrition and this launch is just the first step in the development of Newtrition’s HMO portfolio for infant nutrition initially and also dietary supplements in the near future,” Scheffler adds.

BASF’s Newtrition offers a broad portfolio of essential nutrients including vitamins, carotenoids and high concentrate omega 3 fatty acids.

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