Arla Foods Ingredients and NIZO have agreed to carry out a clinical study together on Lacprodan® OPN-10, a whey-derived novel food ingredient highly enriched in osteopontin. The immune response challenge study will investigate whether Lacprodan® OPN-10 can improve the responsiveness of the adult immune system.

More than ever, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 global pandemic, consumers are looking for products that can give their immune system a ‘natural’ boost. This market demand has led to increased interest amongst food and supplement producers in exploring the potential immune health benefits of their ingredients.

Osteopontin is a key component of human breast milk, and is also found in small quantities in bovine milk. In breast milk, osteopontin is thought to play a major role in immune system development during early infancy, promoting maturation of the immune system and protecting against pathogenic infections. The protein has been shown to regulate the immune response at multiple levels, and Arla Foods Ingredients wishes to investigate whether it can also have a positive impact on the adult immune system.

Innovative, dairy-derived osteopontin

Arla Foods Ingredients is a global leader in value-added whey solutions. Its Bovine Milk Osteopontin ingredient (Lacprodan® OPN-10), which is isolated from bovine whey, was recently approved by EFSA as a novel food ingredient. It is the world’s first commercially produced analogue of human osteopontin, a unique milk protein present in human milk.

NIZO and Arla Foods Ingredients will collaborate on a clinical study of human volunteers to determine whether Lacprodan® OPN-10 has a beneficial impact on the adult immune system. Clinical studies are a fundamental part of health benefit substantiation. NIZO’s immunity benefit studies, run in-line with the requirements of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), use a commercially available vaccine as a “stressor” to test the impact of the ingredient on immune health biomarkers.

Science-based substantiation of health impact

“NIZO is an ideal partner for us for this study, thanks to their experience in immune analysis, immune studies, and health claim substantiation. Combined with their long tradition in the dairy industry and their strongly science-based approach, we look forward to a robust collaboration,”

says Pernille Dorthea Frederiksen, Head of Health & Performance Nutrition Science with Arla Foods Ingredients group P/S.

“We are very proud to have been chosen by Arla Foods Ingredients to collaborate on this clinical study for the innovative novel food ingredient Lacprodan® OPN-10. Not only is Arla a company with a high standard of science, but it is a reference in the dairy and food industries for sustainability and social responsibility,” says Gisella Frijlink, CEO of NIZO

The study design has been submitted for approval to the medical ethical committee, with the 14-week study expected to begin early 2023. Results should be available by 3rd quarter 2023, according to NIZO.

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