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Arla seeks to firm up evidence behind whey hydrolysates

A new joint research project will document the effect of whey protein hydrolysates on muscles after exercise.

Denmark-based Arla Foods Ingredients has launched a three-year joint research project to investigate the effect of whey protein hydrolysates on muscle growth and recovery after vigorous exercise.

The company said the results of the study, which is being carried out in conjunction with Aarhus University, would “fill a gap in existing international documentation” and provide scientific support for its own range of dairy protein hydrolysates in the sports nutrition market.

Phil Witcomb, marketing activity manager, said the decision to launch the study was driven by demand for ingredients backed by good quality evidence. “Our customers have a strong focus on documentation,” he said. “We have chosen to look at whey hydrolysates in this project because their effect is less documented than intact whey proteins.”

The study will be carried out by Aarhus sports science graduate and Ph.D. student Stine Klejs Rahbek, with financial backing from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology & Innovation. Her time will be divided between the University’s Department of Sport Science and Arla Foods Ingredients’ factories and laboratories.

“It is an exciting opportunity to conduct academic research of value to industry,” she said. “In three years’ time, Arla Foods Ingredients should have the necessary documentation of hydrolysates’ effect on muscles after exercise.”

The global sports nutrition market was worth $4.7 billion in 2009, according to Euromonitor data, led by North America ($3.2 billion) and western Europe ($713.6 million).

Part of dairy giant Arla Foods, Arla Foods Ingredients markets a range of milk-based ingredients and has production facilities in Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Argentina.

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