Shanghai, China, August 21st
New scientific discoveries related to OPO, the main component of Betapol®, were announced today in a seminar held by IOI Loders Croklaan, one of the world’s largest integrated suppliers of commodity and specialty oils and fats. The research reveals how OPO exerts its physiological functions to facilitate an infant’s brain and physical development, unlike vegetable oils used in common infant formula milk.
According to the discoveries made by Professor Sebastiano Banni of the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Cagliari, Italy, the fatty acid distribution within the fat molecules in infant nutrition may influence the way neuronal activity is regulated and optimized in the brain. His research indicates that the molecular structure of OPO can positively influence infant’s energy metabolism, brain function and physical development.
“We are glad to announce the positive outcomes of the research in the seminar,” said Michael-van Sallandt, COO of IOI Loders Croklaan Asia. “The research brings additional evidence that Betapol® is the scientifically substantiated standard for high-quality infant formula and that we are committed to investing in OPO R&D and OPO production facilities.”
OPO was invented by IOI Loders Croklaan in 1986 with the purpose of mimicking the unique fat composition and structure of human milk. With a 20 year safety record in the European market, Betapol® can help overcome the problems associated with poor fatty acid absorption and its negative consequences on energy supply, stool consistency and bone development. In 2008, the China Ministry of Health approved the usage of OPO products based on Betapol®.
According to a recent report by Mintel, a key factor mothers consider when choosing baby food is the closeness of the formula to natural breast milk. Currently, infant formula milk containing OPO, the closest natural match to breast milk fat, is available in 14 countries including China, South Korea, the United States and Britain. Furthermore, the Chinese market is experiencing rapid growth with a surge of products becoming available for consumers.
These latest scientific discoveries will also be presented at the upcoming annual exhibition held by the China Dairy Industry Association on August 22-24th in Shanghai, where IOI Loders Croklaan will display its product and process patents to the benefit of infant formula manufacturers and eventually Chinese consumers.