Early life nutrition
FrieslandCampina Ingredients secures Aequival® 2’-FL approval for infant milk formulas in Thailand
FrieslandCampina Ingredients, the global innovator in healthy and functional ingredients for early life nutrition, has announced another regulatory approval of its well-known 2’-Fucosyllactose (2’-FL) ingredient. Aequival® 2’-FL can now be added to infant milk formulas and follow-up formulas in Thailand.
Following its previous approval for ‘flavoured milk drinks,’ for children of three years and above, Aequival® 2’-FL is now permitted for use in products for infants and younger children too. With this development, the company’s human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) ingredient becomes accessible to the whole early life nutrition category in the country. This also makes FrieslandCampina Ingredients the only provider of both HMOs and GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides) in Thailand, which, when used together, may offer complementary health benefits.
The approval creates opportunities for brand owners and manufacturers to develop innovative formulations utilising 2’-FL, possibly in combination with GOS, to deliver valuable benefits for Thai infants and toddlers. Interest in, and use of, 2’-FL in infant milk formula (IMF) is particularly on the rise in Thailand. In 2023, nearly 15% of new IMF product launches in the country were supplemented with 2’-FL.
“Thailand’s early life nutrition market is thriving, particularly for children – a commonly overlooked area, but we anticipate a 20% volume growth in this specific segment by 2030 in this country. We previously secured approval for 2’-FL to be used in flavoured milk drinks and developed concept applications such as ready-to-drink beverages for kids aged three upwards – there has been great feedback from our customers and consumers,” states Sophie Nicolas, global marketing lead, early life nutrition, FrieslandCampina Ingredients. “This latest approval is not only exciting due to the advantages our HMOs can deliver in infant milk formula, but also because Aequival® 2’-FL can now be used across the full early life nutrition category, from newborns to kids.”
HMOs are the third largest component of human milk, and 2’-FL is the most abundant of these HMOs.i With a wealth of scientific evidence already supporting the ingredient’s efficacy for supporting gut health, emerging research continues to substantiate 2’-FL’s ability to deliver this and a range of other benefits for infant development, including brain development, cognition and learning.ii The Thai FDA’s approval of Aequival® 2’-FL for infant milk formulas comes at a time of growing consumer recognition of the importance of gut health and increasing demand for ingredients with science-backed benefits.iii
“Science shows that 2’-FL can play a vital role in supporting health in infancy and childhood, thanks in part to its bifidogenic effects. But this is just one example of the benefits offered by 2’-FL and oligosaccharides more widely,” continues Nicolas. “We believe including other prebiotic ingredients alongside 2’-FL, such as our Vivinal® GOS, could offer even more benefits by providing more diverse oligosaccharides structures in recipes. This, in turn, unlocks exciting opportunities for our customers in Thailand and the many other markets where Aequival® 2’-FL and Vivinal® GOS are available.”
FrieslandCampina Ingredients has secured its position as a world-leading expert in early life nutrition with a history stemming back around 75 years. The company entered the HMOs market over 20 years ago and its GOS remain the most studied in the world. With its recent launch of kids nutrition platform ‘Step Up Nutrition,’ FrieslandCampina Ingredients underscored its commitment to providing high quality proteins and prebiotics for childhood applications as well as infant milk formula. Today’s approval by the Thai FDA enables more brands to leverage the potential of these ingredients for more infants and children.
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