FrieslandCampina Ingredients, a global leader in proteins and prebiotics, opened its new lactoferrin production facility in Veghel in the Netherlands to help meet growing global demand in the early life and adult nutrition markets. The facility increases the company’s total capacity from 20 metric tonnes to 80 metric tonnes per year. The plant features new machinery designed specifically to ensure quality and purity of the company’s lactoferrin and complies with the latest sustainability standards.
New equipment has been installed across the production process, from the collection of milk, to packaging and shipping, including cutting edge technology for absorption and elution, filtration and spray drying.
The company also benefits from uninterrupted access to fresh cow’s milk through its nearly 10,000 member farms. It processes this milk into high-quality functional lactoferrin using a mild heat-treating process that has been specially designed by the company’s R&D experts. The result is a product that is 95 percent pure as a minimum and has considerable iron-binding properties.[i]
The plant will run on 100% green electricity, which is largely generated by FrieslandCampina’s member farms and certified under the EU’s Guarantee of Origin scheme. Water and salt residues produced during the manufacturing process are reused. The facility will also adhere to the European Commission’s ‘Best Available Techniques’ (BAT) guidelines for equipment design, build, maintenance and operation to comply with the latest sustainability standards.
What’s driving demand for lactoferrin?
Multiple studies have demonstrated that lactoferrin, a protein naturally present in human milk and to a lesser extent in cow’s milk, can provide several health benefits, including supporting the body’s immune response and resilience to disease.[ii],[iii],[iv],[v],[vi],[vii],[viii] These immune-supporting properties have made lactoferrin a popular ingredient in infant formula and this is also why it is increasingly sought after for specialist adult nutrition applications.
Growing interest in lactoferrin has also been fuelled by an interest in the ingredient’s potential applications beyond immunity.[ix],[x],[xi],[xii],[xiii],[xiv],[xv] As the volume of evidence demonstrating lactoferrin’s health benefits increases, and consumers increasingly seek out immune-supporting solutions, there is a surge in the development of new products to support multiple health areas for a range of consumers.
Prioritising health, quality and sustainability
Speaking on the opening of the new facility, Herman Ermens, president at FrieslandCampina Ingredients, said, “Today, the importance of supporting immunity for better health and holistic well-being is widely recognised. Taking steps to improve immune health is becoming a part of many people's daily routines. I’m looking forward to seeing how our customers tap into the holistic well-being trend by offering their consumers new products that combine multiple health benefits in one convenient application. By expanding our production capacity and implementing new technologies, we’re not just meeting the growing demand for lactoferrin, but doing so in a way that prioritises both quality and sustainability. Over 25 years ago, we were one of the first companies producing lactoferrin and I’m proud to say we’re still leading innovation in this area to help people get the most out of life, always.”
[i] FCI Internal benchmark study, 2021
[ii] Legrand et al., 2016
[iii] Mizuki et al., 2020
[iv] Splunter van et al., 2018
[v] Kawakami et al., 2015
[vi] Mulder et al., 2008
[vii] Dix & Wright. 2018
[viii] Zimecki et al., 1999
[ix] Shin et al., 2011
[x] Nakano et al., 2016
[xi] Morita et al., 2017
[xii] Nakano et al., 2017
[xiii] Nakano et al., 2019
[xiv] Ono et al., 2010
[xv] Oda et al., 2019
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