Fonterra harnesses vitamin science – Meals & Drink Enterprise


With the advent of foods valued for their specific health benefits, New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has teamed up with nutrition specialist VitaKey to develop timed nutrient release for its probiotic strains.

VitaKey specializes in an emerging research area of ​​precise nutrition and is pioneering the ability to deliver certain nutrients to parts of the body in a controlled amount at a specific point in time.

The company was founded by Dr. Robert Langer co-founded and his technology comes from the biomedical engineering laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Langer supervises around 150 researchers. Langer has extensive experience commercializing scientific research and has worked with more than 40 biotech companies on projects valued at more than $ 250 billion.

Fonterra said its goal is to deliver fresher, more active, and more beneficial nutrients from its probiotics using VitaKey’s proprietary technology.

Judith Swales, CEO of Fonterra Asia Pacific region, said the collaboration marks a step towards the company’s ultimate goal of being a leader in dairy innovation and nutritional science.

“Our research and development center is home to one of the largest milk culture libraries in the world and contains more than 40,000 strains.

“Two of these strains, LactoB 001 and BifidoB 019, address important health issues such as digestive problems and immunity and are considered among the five global probiotics,” said Swales.

Stabilizing Fonterra’s probiotics and delivering them to the digestive tract is the first step in the partnership.

VitaKey co-founder Dr. Robert Langer and Dr. Ana Jaklenec, VitaKey researcher Stephanie Tomasic.

Swales added that the technology also offers an opportunity to reduce food waste.

“Because the nutrients are encapsulated and very targeted, it also means we can use less milk in our production,” she said.

Now that Fonterra has demonstrated that it preserves and enhances 11 different micronutrients including vitamins D, A, B12, C along with folic acid, iron zinc and niacin, Fonterra will use this technology to deliver a range of micronutrients into its products.

Langer said the technology can be tailored for use at every step of the food supply chain.

“The pandemic has underscored the need for solutions to improve health and wellbeing and to strengthen the immunity of men, women and children at every stage of life. We believe that good, nutritious food can help people of all ages live healthier lives, ”he said.

Langer added that the collaboration is an opportunity that “can really change the world”.