Arla Foods Ingredients has secured a positive opinion on its novel food application for bovine milk osteopontin ingredient Lacprodan OPN-10.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published an opinion stating bovine milk osteopontin (OPN) is safe for use in infant formula (IF), follow-on formula and ready-to-eat dairy-based meals for children.
When this process is complete, the ingredient will become the company’s first product for infant nutrition approved under the Novel Food Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. Products containing the ingredient will be authorised for sale in Europe towards the end of 2022 or early 2023.
Osteopontin is a whey protein, which is a heavily phosphorylated, acidic glycoprotein with strong calcium-binding properties. Significant amounts of this protein have reportedly been identified in human milk, while smaller quantities are present in bovine milk. This means that – to date – infant formulas have had lower osteopontin content than human breast milk, Arla says.
The company holds several patents for the production and application of osteopontin.
Anders Steen Jørgensen, Director Pediatric at Arla Foods Ingredients said: “We’re delighted by this decision, which is a significant step towards achieving Novel Food approval. It’s a strong signal of trustworthiness in this new ingredient for infant milk formula, and opens up new opportunities for formula manufacturers. This is the result of more than five years of hard work from our R&D department, early life nutrition science teams and regulatory teams. Lacprodan OPN-10 is a fantastic addition to our infant nutrition portfolio and continues our record of being first to market with products in this sector.”