DSM is expanding into the digestive health market with an extended enzymes portfolio aimed at dietary supplement manufacturers. Tolerase™ L, the first to have been launched, is a highly effective digestive enzyme for people who suffer from lactose intolerance. DSM will be offering manufacturers a series of quality ingredients to address common digestive problems for consumers across the globe.
The global market for functional foods, beverages and dietary supplements targeted at digestive health is currently worth almost €1bn and is split across enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics. The market is steadily growing and global sales of gastrointestinal health supplements grew by 9.2 percent between 2009 and 2010, a greater increase than for any other consumer health concern.
“The growth in the digestive health market coincides with a 3 percent annual increase in mild digestive disorders, due to factors such as poor eating habits, obesity and aging,” comments Wouter Nieboer, global business manager at DSM. “In recent years, increased consumer awareness and acceptance of products offering digestive support means that more people are looking to supplements and functional foods, rather than medicinal products, to help relieve symptoms and manage their digestive health issues. The probiotics market has already felt the positive effects of this increased demand and we expect a growth in the use of digestive enzymes to target specific food intolerances. DSM’s upcoming focuses will be the digestion of gluten and wheat as we work to position ourselves as a global leader in this market.”
DSM’s first dietary enzyme, Tolerase L, was launched earlier this year. Tolerase L is an acid lactase that converts lactose, a milk sugar present in dairy products, into glucose and galactose. Around half of the world’s population is lactose intolerant and do not produce enough lactase, needed to break down the lactose in dairy and experience digestive discomfort symptoms including bloating, gas, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps. Tolerase L acts at a low pH (optimum activity from 3.5 to 5.5) to digest lactose in the stomach and relieve symptoms. The science behind acid lactase is supported by a positive opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which has concluded that the “lactase enzyme contributes to breaking down lactose4”.
Tolerase L is fully compliant with all regulation in key markets and provides almost instant relief for the symptoms of lactose intolerance.