FrieslandCampina Ingredients’s RESANA helps frail elderly and vulnerable patients recover faster


FrieslandCampina’s roots are in dairy products. Beside the consumer business of dairy products, the company develops and sells ingredients to the food and beverage industry, pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of infant, adult and medical nutrition under the new ‘FrieslandCampina Ingredients’ brand. A growing market is health nutrition for malnourished older adults. A recent innovation for this market is RESANA, a high quality protein that supports the maintenance of muscle mass in elderly and frail patients in hospitals. Food Ingredients Europe talked with Sjors Verlaan, Innovation Manager Adult Nutrition at FrieslandCampina Ingredients, about this innovation that will be presented at the show in Paris.

Does the awareness of the importance of adequate nutrition for vulnerable older seniors come from the healthcare industry or from scientific researchers?

Sjors Verlaan: “This trend is mainly driven by scientific research and supported by the healthcare industry. Scientific research proves that adequate, personalized nutrition, especially more proteins, has a positive effect on frail elderly people in hospitals. A Swiss study, recently published in The Lancet, even showed an improved survival rate of elderly people with enhanced nutritional support in hospitals, compared with people with standard hospital food. In some European countries, screening for malnutrition is already a key performance indicator.”

Can you explain why they are at risk when getting in the hospital to be treated for a disease?

“During one week in a hospital, people can lose 1 to 1.5 kg of muscle mass and it’s hard to gain that back. Even people who go to the gym three times a week need more than six months to build up 1.5 kg of muscle. Exercise and improved nutrition have huge benefits for older people. But, vulnerable people with compromised health, need twice as much protein as healthy people: 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. However, they often have a smaller appetite too. So you really need to concentrate the proteins in order to increase protein intake. We at FrieslandCampina Ingredients have managed to do that with RESANA. The other thing to bear in mind is that food is also a social event. That’s why, with this ingredient, we are focusing on food supplements, specifically drinks, to be consumed on top of a normal diet, rather than replacing it.”

What is RESANA and how is FrieslandCampina Ingredients bringing this innovation to the market?

“RESANA is a food ingredient that enables the development of liquid products with a high concentration of proteins. The milk protein mixture consists of two-thirds micellar casein combined with whey protein and whey hydrolysate. This showed less coagulation than mixtures containing ≥80% casein in an in vitro stomach digestion model. In theory, you can use it as a sole source of nutrition or as a protein shot.”

Has FrieslandCampina Ingredients got test results for RESANA?

“At Food Ingredients Europe we will show two RESANA prototypes; a complete solution and a food supplement that has been tested by older volunteers. Consuming 20g of of protein from RESANA resulted in a fast and high rise in post-prandial serum essential amino acid levels, followed by a sustained delivery. If you combine this supplement with exercise, e.g. walking or resistance training, this effect is enhanced.”

What are the challenges bringing such a beneficial food supplement to the market?

“If you use highly concentrated protein, then the production process itself is a challenge in terms of maintaining stability over time for a good shelf life. Also, the sensory profile is a challenge. The development of nutrient-dense recipes can be technically difficult and having the right protein functionality plays a key role in its success. At FrieslandCampina Ingredients we have the knowledge and experience in how to use these highly concentrated proteins. With RESANA, we offer our customers a complete solution for their problems; because it helps them to overcome these challenges. Although RESANA enables the development of medical nutrition drinks with a high concentration of proteins, it has a low viscosity and is not thick. We help customers develop their own formulation to speed up time to market. We are actively looking to co-develop food supplements with them.”

When do you expect the first supplements in the B2C market?

“I expect the first products will launch in 2020. However, at our booth at Food Ingredients Europe, customers will be able to taste RESANA ahead of the first commercial launch.”

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