Dutch ingredients firm DMV International has developed a new milk-derived peptide aimed at liver health, an area attracting increasing attention from consumers.
The patented ingredient, a natural peptide-bonded form of cysteine, has been shown in animal studies carried out by the firm to boost levels of glutathione produced in the liver. Glutathione is needed to break down toxic substances, alcohol and stimulants, such as caffeine, but as we age the body produces less of the substance.
David Clark, director of R&D and QA at DMV International, said: "With Cysteine Peptide supplementation, depleted glutathione stores can be replenished."
DMV is marketing cysteine peptide for its potential to boost energy and improve sleep quality. The whey protein hydrolysate allows the body to synthesise glutathione and therefore act more efficiently on alcohol and caffeine, known to disrupt sleep patterns.
"Helping the body to remove these substances supports restorative sleep, leaving consumers energised and full of vitality," said Fiona Taylor, market development manager at DMV.
Taylor has carried out market research on consumers aged 50-years-old and older to support the company's claims that the new peptide can boost energy. A follow-up study is planned for 2004. DMV is also planning a human clinical trial on cysteine peptide to start next year.
"We have seen very positive reactions from many of our key customers to this new product," Taylor told NutraIngredients.com. "Many companies have also shown an interest in repeating the consumer study."
The ingredient is being introduced globally to supplement manufacturers, following its launch at SupplySide West in Las Vegas last month. A Vendor Works presentation revealed the positive trends seen from early consumer research on the product. It will also be on display at the upcoming Food Ingredients Europe show.
"Liver health is a growing area of interest. In the Asian market, consumers are very aware of the need to pay attention to the liver but in the US, this is still an emerging category," said Taylor.
"There are a number of issues raising awareness of liver health, including the increase in hepatitis. We are also taking more drugs that have to be metabolised by the liver and can often impact its health."
DMV produces protein hydrolysates and bioactive peptides under HACCP and ISO 9001-2000 certified quality systems in its Delhi, New York facility. The business is part of international dairy co-operative Campina, which has an annual turnover of €3.7 billion.