FrieslandCampina Ingredients, a global leader in proteins and prebiotics, has announced the opening of its new lactoferrin production facility in Veghel in the Netherlands to help meet growing global demand in the early life and adult nutrition markets. The facility increases the company’s total capacity from 20 metric tonnes to 80 metric tonnes per year. The plant features new machinery designed specifically to ensure the quality and purity of the company’s lactoferrin and complies with the latest sustainability standards.
The new facility exemplifies FrieslandCampina Ingredients’ extensive protein processing expertise. New equipment has been installed across the production process, from the collection of milk to packaging and shipping, including cutting-edge technology for absorption and elution, filtration, and spray drying. FrieslandCampina Ingredients also benefits from uninterrupted access to fresh cow’s milk through FrieslandCampina’s nearly 10,000 member farms.
FrieslandCampina Ingredients processes this milk into high-quality functional lactoferrin using a mild heat-treating process that has been specially designed by the company’s R&D experts. The result is a product that is 95 percent pure as a minimum and has considerable iron-binding properties.
In addition, the plant will run on 100 percent green electricity, which is largely generated by FrieslandCampina’s member farms and certified under the EU’s Guarantee of Origin scheme. Water and salt residues produced during the manufacturing process are reused. The facility will also adhere to the European Commission’s ‘Best Available Techniques’ (BAT) guidelines for equipment design, build, maintenance, and operation to comply with the latest sustainability standards.
What’s driving demand?
Multiple studies have demonstrated that lactoferrin, a protein naturally present in human milk and to a lesser extent, in cow’s milk, can provide several health benefits, including supporting the body’s immune response and resilience to disease.2,3,4,5,6,7,8 These immune-supporting properties have made lactoferrin a popular ingredient in infant formula, and this is also why it is increasingly sought after for specialist adult nutrition applications.
The growing interest in lactoferrin has also been fuelled by an interest in the ingredient’s potential applications beyond immunity.9,10,11,12,13,14,15 As the volume of evidence demonstrating lactoferrin’s health benefits increases and consumers increasingly seek out immune-supporting solutions, there is a surge in the development of new products to support multiple health areas for a range of consumers.
Prioritizing health, quality, and sustainability
Speaking on the opening of the new facility, Herman Ermens, president, FrieslandCampina Ingredients, said, “Today, the importance of supporting immunity for better health and holistic well-being is widely recognized. Taking steps to improve immune health is becoming a part of many people's daily routines. I’m looking forward to seeing how our customers tap into the holistic well-being trend by offering their consumers new products that combine multiple health benefits in one convenient application. By expanding our production capacity and implementing new technologies, we’re not just meeting the growing demand for lactoferrin, but doing so in a way that prioritizes both quality and sustainability. Over 25 years ago, we were one of the first companies producing lactoferrin, and I’m proud to say we’re still leading innovation in this area to help people get the most out of life, always.”
1 FCI Internal benchmark study, 2021
2 Legrand et al., 2016
3 Mizuki et al., 2020
4 Splunter van et al., 2018
5 Kawakami et al., 2015
6 Mulder et al., 2008
7 Dix & Wright. 2018
8 Zimecki et al., 1999
9 Shin et al., 2011
10 Nakano et al., 2016
11 Morita et al., 2017
12 Nakano et al., 2017
13 Nakano et al., 2019
14 Ono et al., 2010
15 Oda et al., 2019