Vitafoods Europe live: Volac delivers clear whey isolate for sports drinks with optimized performance
10 May 2023 --- Volac is unveiling its Volactive Pro2O ready-to-mix (RTM) ingredient at Vitafoods Europe in Geneva, Switzerland. The product allows manufacturers to develop refreshing shakes that are clear in solution with new fruit-based flavors, such as citrus and melon.
NutritionInsight sits down at the trade show with Dr. Marianthi Faka, head of technical and ingredients developments in whey nutrition, and Nadia El-Zanfaly, marketing and consumer insights manager, to discuss the company’s key innovations in whey protein.
“Volactive Pro2O RTM is designed specifically for clear beverages and aimed at the sports nutrition and active nutrition categories,” notes El-Zanfaly.
“As these are established categories, we’ve developed this product to enable our customers to give consumers an optimized product by combining the functional benefits – in manufacturing and consumer experiences – with nutritional benefits in one ingredient.”
“This solution offers a different way to consume whey protein,” remarks Faka. “The product has a low pH value and slightly more acidic taste that complements more fruity flavors, such as summer berry, lemon and lime.”
The product is low in fat and carbohydrate and a source of concentrated natural proteins from milk of high biological value. The whey protein isolate supports overall health and muscle growth.
Volactive Pro2O delivers the expected attributes of the clear RTM category, such as lower turbidity and a neutral mouthfeel, while enhancing the consumer’s experience with less foam, reduced powder residue and increased nutritional benefits.
“The main characteristic is the clarity of the product, which is achieved by the low pH,” explains Faka. “We had to manipulate the properties of whey proteins to deliver the clarity.”
She adds that mixing and foaming properties are “important parameters” as well.
“We apply agglomeration to improve the mixability of the product,” she adds. With this technique, Pro2O offers manufacturers an ingredient with improved powder flow and up to five times faster foam dispersion than current market offerings.
The product powder contains a minimum of 91% protein. The sachets Volac is presenting at Vitafoods Europe contain at least 20 g of protein dissolved in 400 ml of water.
“Twenty grams of protein is the minimum you want to consume per serving,” says Faka.
The mix also supports muscle synthesizing, with El-Zanfaly adding that “it’s a dual benefit with hydration and protein consumption.”
Sports nutrition market
Innova Market Insights reports that global product launches with active nutrition claims have increased 8% annually (2017/Q4 – 2022/Q3) as consumers seek healthier lifestyles.
According to the market researcher, protein-rich F&B products lead in active health claims. In 2021, 64% of the sports nutrition category consisted of powders, an annual increase of 28% compared to five years earlier.
“Hydration is key to the category growth,” asserts El-Zanfaly. “People can have different occasions to have these drinks, whether post or pre-workout or on a day they’re not working out at all, just as a refreshing beverage as a hydration.”
“It’s great to see the active nutrition category expanding by flavor, as nostalgic flavors seem to draw new entries.”
“This trend opened a whole new opportunity where there’s no restriction on the heavy milk-based, like chocolate and vanilla, manufacturers can now experiment with fruity-based flavors.”
Beverages are increasingly popular in sports nutrition, especially among younger consumers, as they offer convenience, a customizable format, portability, sensory appeal and hydration attributes.
By Jolanda van Hal, with live reporting from Missy Green at Vitafoods Europe
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