Backed by Israeli firm Solbar, the number three supplier of soy proteins with an 80 per cent stake in the new technology company, NutriCognia (www.nutricognia.com) is hooked on a proprietary technology that can analyse sugars, including glycoproteins (sugar-protein molecules) and glycolipids (sugar-fat molecules) in complex solutions.
"LactoFact is a powerful tool providing an essential and rapid insight of the glycan content throughout all stages of production and quality control," says the firm this week.
Recognising the features of various glycans , the kit functions by monitoring the glycan content of lactoferrin throughout all stages of production using a biochip technology.
Glycan structures play a "vital role in the nutritional value of food products" and comparative analysis can provide data and powerful insights throughout production, quality control and quality assurance, the firm adds.
Representing about 3,100 tonnes in 2003, the small but high value-added whey fractions market - lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, colostrum/IgG, a-lactalbumin, b-lactoglobulin and glycomacropeptides - is currently enjoying strong growth, in some geographical areas hitting 20 per cent per year.
Compared to other dairy ingredients, whey and its various fractions hold some of the most promising value for the food and dairy industries. With improved methods for extraction and purification, whey fractions can extend product development possibilities with new nutrition and functionality.
"This is a game for the most advanced dairy ingredients companies, working with leading-edge end users," Tage Affertsholt, an analyst at 3A Business Consulting said to FoodNavigator.com.
And even though these advanced dairy ingredients firms are all working in the niche area of fractions, there are still specialists. In Europe Danish firm Arla leads in alpha-lactalbumin (largely used in infant formula), and Dutch firm DMV in lactoferrin, the increasingly popular meat preserver. French firm Armor Proteines, and Germany's Milei are also carving a niche in the market.
LactoFact, will be launched during the 4th International Whey Conference, 11 to 14 September in Chicago.