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Fonterra has released a milk phospholipid ingredient for global food and beverage manufacturers, aimed at improving mental wellbeing in adults.
Clinical trials showed that the Milk Phospholipids 70 ingredient helped with stress management. This included mood and cognitive benefits, such as staying focused and positive. It had physical performance benefits as well.
Mental health was an important area for the co-op, Kelvin Wickham, chief executive of AMENA at Fonterra told The Country Sport Breakfast's Brian Kelly.
"It's one of our key focus areas for our sports and active lifestyle strategy ... we have seen an increased awareness of mental health in recent years, and of course with the Covid environment, the stress that that's been creating - a lot of consumers are our there thinking about health and wellness and really starting to see that physical and mental aspects of it go together."
Wickham explained that milk phospholipids were naturally present in milk as part of the milk fat globule membrane.
"The challenge is how do you extract that in a way that keeps it whole? So it's a gentle extraction process, separated out, and you've got to preserve it in a form that can be made available to customers."
That's where the Fonterra Research and Development Centre (FRDC) in Palmerston North came in, Wickham said.
"[We've been] working on this product for the last 18 months to two years. Working with the team in the market to develop the product. We've got a great history and track record of science innovation there."
NZMP Milk Phospholipids come in the form of a soluble powder made from milk. It can be used in a range of food and beverage applications such as nutritional bars, ready-to-mix powders, snacks and supplement sachets.
Fonterra wanted to provide solutions and was currently investigating additional dairy ingredients to support consumers' mental health concerns, such as sleep, stress and anxiety, cognitive performance and mood, Wickham said.