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New study gets Government funding to investigate digestive benefits of IDP®

New research has secured Government funding to investigate whether IDP® could help boost the digestive health benefits of food and beverage (F&B) products.

The Palmerston North-based research team, led by Dr Dulantha Ulluwishewa from AgResearch Ltd, has received a $100,000 investment from the High-Value Nutrition (HVN) National Science Challenge and Quantec.

HVN is the New Zealand National Science Challenge funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Its mission is to grow the science excellence and knowledge New Zealand needs to create and deliver food to the world that people choose to stay healthy and well.

The study will investigate whether Quantec’s Immune Defence Proteins (IDP®) can deliver digestive health benefits by improving the intestinal barrier.

Quantec has developed, manufactured and commercialised IDP® - a natural milk-derived ingredient, which consists of a unique blend of over 50 proteins. It has already been proven to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-microbial properties.

Quantec chief executive Raewyn McPhillips says in the Chinese gut health market, consumers are looking for products that support digestive and immune health, while also being ‘natural’.

“IDP® is already being used as a key ingredient to develop food and beverage products in the form of powder sachets, protein beverages and chewable tablets that are currently sold in China and other parts of Asia.

“Recently, we signed an exclusive 20-year deal with China-based Holon for its mother baby channel, which has cemented Quantec’s long term presence in the Chinese market.

“The agreement will see us supply a growing volume of our IDP® product to Holon for use in its mother baby health and nutrition products.

“Findings from this new study could give us an opportunity to further grow our business in this market and offer customers additional high value products that also benefit peoples’ gut and digestive health.

“It’s also a great opportunity to work with HVN and help build on New Zealand’s reputation as a source of quality food that delivers proven nutritional benefits to the world. We’re proud to be part of that.”

Dr Dulantha Ulluwishewa says if the research team’s findings demonstrate digestive health benefits of IDP®, Quantec will develop prototype products to validate these findings in human clinical studies.

“This project directly contributes to product development linked to scientific validation and if successful will add value to New Zealand products and the F&B business. This fits with HVN’s mission to grow the science excellence and knowledge New Zealand needs to create and deliver food that people choose to stay healthy and well,” says Joanne Todd, HVN Challenge Director.

“Quantec has proven expertise in the development and commercialisation of uniquely New Zealand products for the Chinese market,” she says. “To continue their growth trajectory and achieve export and sales targets in a competitive Asian market, Quantec have identified a need to develop F&B products with validated digestive health benefits.”

This story has also been published on Nutra, or read more on High Value Nutrition.