A clear winner? Arla brings whey ingredient to protein drinks market
12 Nov 2019 --- Arla Food Ingredients (Arla) is launching Lacprodan ISO.Water, a 100 percent whey protein isolate ingredient, designed specifically for the clear protein beverage space. It is touted as overcoming common issues in this area, including taste and dry mouthfeel. The high-protein trend, demand for convenient ready-to-drink nutritional beverages and the booming sports nutrition category have all contributed to rising consumer interest in clear protein waters. Arla further highlights that Lacprodan ISO.Water’s ability to deliver good mouthfeel without the taste of protein creates new opportunities for innovative products with a unique taste.
“Due to the good taste and mouthfeel of this ingredient, early prototypes have shown that even unflavored versions still taste outstanding and are like drinking plain water. This could unlock new potential for the category – more toward functional mineral water that tastes and looks like water but contributes to consumers’ daily protein needs. This could be especially interesting for certain consumer groups. Baby Boomers, for example, can benefit from additional protein as they get older, and this could replace some of their normal water consumption,” Joe Katterfield, Sales Development Manager for Sports Nutrition and Health Foods at Arla Foods Ingredients, tells NutritionInsight.
“Protein waters are a fantastic way to offer consumers healthy protein in a convenient, refreshing and low-calorie format. However the one box they haven’t previously ticked is great taste. Lacprodan ISO.Water overcomes that challenge, paving the way for products with a far wider range of flavors. It will set a new standard for clear protein waters that taste great as well as meeting nutritional needs,” adds Troels Laursen, Director, Health & Performance Nutrition at Arla Foods Ingredients.
It is available globally, with the company anticipating high levels of interest from North America and Western Europe where the category is already developing. “However – due to the extent to which we’ve improved the taste profile – this launch may be the key to unlocking protein water as a mainstream functional beverage globally, the same way vitamin waters have,” Katterfield continues.
Lacprodan ISO.Water is made in Europe and is free from sugar, fat and lactose, as well as being both Halal and Kosher. It will be on show at Food Ingredients Europe (FiE), taking place next month in Paris, France. Also on display will be Lacprodan HYDRO.PowerPro, which the company says offers all the sports nutrition benefits of whey protein hydrolysate without a bitter taste. In blinded sensory evaluations, it was found to be 50 percent less bitter than comparable products with a similar degree of hydrolysis.
A lucrative market
The continued mainstreaming of the sports nutrition sector is having a profound impact on new product activity and partly spurring recent innovation in protein. Innova Market Insights reports strong growth in sports-related positionings within mainstream food and beverage NPD. A key ingredient in this space is whey protein, which has seen an average of 39 percent average annual growth between 2014 and 2018.
This is the latest in a line of Arla’s innovations in the space. In April, it released a 100 percent whey protein hydrolysate solution specifically developed for sparkling protein water formulations, dubbed Lacprodan HYDRO.Clear. It is touted as delivering an optimized taste, a low bitterness profile and long shelf-life. Moreover, it is lactose-free, low in salt and easy to flavor.
The following month, the company also launched a clean-label ingredient solution for calcium fortification in beverages. Capolac milk mineral concentrate is gently derived from milk and naturally contains a high content of bio-available calcium and phosphorus, making it a viable alternative to traditional calcium fortification in beverages.
Functional beverages were also out in full force at Anuga 2019 held in Cologne, last month. One example included Swiss company FluidFocus, which launched its protein water to compliment Focus Water, its vitamin water range. The protein drinks are made with whey and are available in a caffeinated variety. They contain 7.5g of protein, 1.8g of branched-chain amino acids, B vitamins and have no sugar or carbohydrates.
Meanwhile, Dutch start-up Tranz was launching its plant-based amino acid drink targeting the sports nutrition space. Tranz Ginger Prickly Pear contains 3,300 mg of pharma-grade essential amino acids that are sourced from Germany. The drink is rich in vitamin B and contains no artificial colors or sweeteners.
Edited by Katherine Durrell
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