Nutrition news

Fonterra harnesses the science of nutrition – Food & Drink Business

With the advent of foods valued for their specific health benefits, New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has teamed up with nutrition specialist VitaKey to develop scheduled nutrient release for its probiotic strains.

Specializing in an emerging area of ​​research into the precise delivery of nutrition, VitaKey is pioneering the ability to deliver specific nutrients, in controlled amounts, to parts of the body at a certain point in time.

The company was co-founded by Dr. Robert Langer and its technology originates from the biomedical engineering lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Langer supervises approximately 150 researchers. Langer has extensive experience in the commercialization of scientific research having worked with over 40 biotechnology companies on projects totaling over $ 250 billion.

Fonterra said its goal is to deliver fresher, more active and more beneficial nutrients from its probiotics using VitaKey’s proprietary technology.

Judith Swales, Fonterra CEO for the Asia-Pacific region, said the collaboration is a step towards the company’s end goal of being a leader in dairy innovation and nutritional science.

“Home to one of the largest dairy culture libraries in the world, our research and development center contains more than 40,000 strains.

“Two of these strains, LactoB 001 and BifidoB 019, address key health issues such as digestive issues and immunity and are recognized as being in the top five global probiotics,” said Swales.

Stabilizing Fonterra’s probiotics and delivering them to the digestive tract is the first step in the partnership.

VitaKey co-founders, Dr Robert Langer and Dr Ana Jaklenec, VitaKey researcher, Stephanie Tomasic.

Swales added that the technology also offers an opportunity to reduce food waste.

“Because the nutrients are encapsulated and highly targeted, it also means we can use less milk in our production,” she said.

Having already proven that it preserves and improves 11 different micronutrients, including vitamin D, A, B12, C as well as folic acid, iron, zinc and niacin, Fonterra will take advantage of this technology to provide a range of micronutrients in its products.

Langer said the technology can be adapted for use at every step of the food supply chain.

“The pandemic has underscored the need for solutions to improve the health and well-being and strengthen the immunity of men, women and children at every stage of life. We believe that good, nutritious food can help people of all ages lead healthier lives, ”he said.

Langer added that the collaboration is an opportunity that “can really change the world”.


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