With more people turning to active lifestyles supported by natural supplements, the demand for high-quality dairy proteins has never been so high. Ingredients Insight talks to Benno van Mersbergen, product group manager for FrieslandCampina DMV, about the convenient solutions it offers for protein intake that are backed up by the experience of elite athletes.
Benno van Mersbergen: We know and appreciate that our customers value FrieslandCampina DMV for the reliability and quality of its products. Recently, customers have discovered that we also have the expertise to support and co-create new propositions, whether in the field of nutrition, functional challenges or in delivering a more natural quality.
It is to that end that we've strived to become unrivalled in the sheer range of dairy proteins that we're able to provide. We supply whey protein concentrate, caseinates, milk protein concentrate and protein hydrolysates across the globe, in addition to protein solutions. A popular example is our heat-stable protein, which retains excellent solubility and no sediment when used in high-protein beverages. Our offering also comprises more niche products, like lactose-reduced milk-protein concentrate, lactoferrin or glutamine peptides.
Our Innovation Centre is situated on the campus of Wageningen University, where more than 300 staff members are working hard to deliver the latest innovations. Our customers are set to reap the benefits in 2018, as we expand our range with a whole set of new products. The most exciting of these is based around our work on what we call the 'overnight-recovery concept'.
Consumers often find it a struggle to plan the timing of their sports nutrition after exercise. In fact, it remains much more convenient to prepare and consume protein supplements in the evening, preferably at home in a relaxing atmosphere. Our research has shown that our Excellion protein, when consumed in the evening, is as effective as when consumed directly after activity. The protein feeds the muscle for seven hours, meaning you essentially wake up in the morning with more muscle than when you went to bed.
Excellion has been designed to be sold in different grades with specific properties targeted at shakes and drinks. In this way, we've also solved the conundrum customers have in planning their protein intake right after exercise.
We worked intensively with athletes in 2016 when they were preparing for Rio de Janeiro, providing them with a product that was exclusively developed with their needs in mind. The athletes were very positive about the clean image of the product, and they know as well as we do that we maintain strict oversight over the production process, from grass to glass. They received the product with enthusiasm.
We were thrilled to find out that we could also enhance the athletes' understandings of the advantages of protein intake in the evening, rather than at other times of day. Now, many of them are working with their sports nutritionists to increase their protein intake in the evening to improve their overnight recovery.
It is our goal to provide better nutrition for the world and a good income for the farmers we work with, now and for generations to come. It is for these reasons that the sustainability of our operations is an issue that has always remained close to our heart. I could tell you about all we do to achieve this for a day and still not cover everything, but what it comes down to is that we act where we can have the most impact: at the farm. Our standards for sustainable dairy are globally recognised for their quality control. As far as customers are concerned, this results in clean ingredients that they can trust to be free of antibiotics, non-GMO and grass-fed.