The outcome of a long-term research project, osteopontin (OPN) is extracted from bovine milk using a patented process. After several years of pilot production, the completion of process documentation has enabled the step up to industrial-scale processing.
OPN is a key component of human milk, which contains around 140mg a litre. The content of OPN in bovine milk, from which most infant formula is made, is just 20mg.
“The fact that there’s so much more OPN in human milk than bovine milk provides a simple argument for adding it to infant formula,” said project manager Peter Wejse. “It can be used to make infant formula more like human milk in terms of nutritional profile.”
Due to the tiny quantity of OPN present in bovine milk, some 30 tonnes of whey are required to extract one kilo of the speciality protein. The whey then goes on to further processing.
“In extremely simple terms, what we do is take the needle out of the haystack without damaging the needle or the haystack,” Wejse said.
OPN is sold to infant nutrition manufacturers in Asia. The protein is also believed to be beneficial in relation to dental health.
Source: Arla Foods Ingredients
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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