CSIRO and leading Australian ingredients manufacturer, Clover Corporation Limited, have agreed to work together on the development of the next generation of nutritional ingredients for infant formulas.
“While natural breast milk is the gold standard, when infant formulas are needed to supplement or replace it, those formulas need to be as close to the real thing as possible,” said research team leader, CSIRO’s Ms Luz Sanguansri. “Many of the bioactive components of breast milk are not stable and their inclusion in infant formula is not straight forward.”
The research will investigate how nutritional bioactives can be combined in formulas with the natural essential Omega 3 fatty acid DHA, to improve the ability of infants to absorb bioactive ingredients that can boost their immune systems.
Ms Sanguansri said there were also a number of scientific and technical hurdles to overcome before DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and bioactives can be added to infant formulas.
“While natural breast milk is the gold standard, when infant formulas are needed to supplement or replace it, those formulas need to be as close to the real thing as possible”
CSIRO’s Ms Luz Sanguansri
“For example, DHA is complex, fragile and is only found in significant amounts in a few foods so, we need to be able to protect, stabilise and deliver the DHA,” Ms Sanguansri said.
“We need to protect the bioactives of interest during the manufacture of the ingredient powder by Clover Corporation and during the manufacture of the infant formula by the many major global manufacturers they supply. It needs to remain stable from the time it’s manufactured, right up until it’s prepared in the home.
“Finally we need to be sure that these bioactives reach the right part of the infant’s digestive tract, so that benefits for development and immune function are maximized,” Ms Sanguansri said.
Clover Corporation Limited, through its subsidiary Nu-Mega Ingredients Pty Ltd, is a leading international supplier of microencapsulated ingredients such as Omega-3 DHA and other beneficial bioactive nutrients.
The Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Professor Ian Brown, said the current research agreement builds on collaborative efforts over 15 years between CSIRO and Clover Corporation on the development of functional ingredients.
“We have a long track record of extensive work with CSIRO, originally through our exclusive license to commercialise CSIRO’s MicroMAX® technology,” Professor Brown said.
“This latest investment by CSIRO and Clover Corporation will enable us to focus the expertise of both organisations on overcoming barriers to producing the next generation of nutritional ingredients for infant and medical foods,”
MicroMAX® are CSIRO’s proprietary technologies designed to encapsulate and protect bioactives to ensure they reach targeted sections of the gastrointestinal track.
Previous research by CSIRO and Clover Corporation has helped protect DHA during manufacture of foods and mask its ‘fishy’ taste and smell. This has led to successful commercial applications in products around the world.