Awareness of MFGM growing

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

Naturally-occurring MFGM with phospholipids and glycoproteins is ideal for brain and gut health in infants. Pic: Arla
Naturally-occurring MFGM with phospholipids and glycoproteins is ideal for brain and gut health in infants. Pic: Arla

Related tags Infant formula Infant nutrition Formula milk Ingredients Research and development

More pregnant women are familiar with the milk fat globule membrane (MFGM), a nutritional component naturally occurring in breast milk. It’s now being used as an ingredient in infant formula to “close the gap further between breast milk and formula.”

A study conducted by Arla Foods Ingredients surveyed 5,500 mothers in China, France, Germany, Indonesia, South Korea, the UK and the US about their preferences for baby formula. They determined that there is good awareness of MFGM and its nutritional benefits.

Twenty percent of mothers were already aware of it, and it was most well-known in China (28%). And 43% of the Chinese mothers who were aware of MFGM said they “would prefer to buy an infant formula that contains it.”

Arla infant 1

Arla said, “Recently, MFGM ingredients made from whey have been introduced into the infant nutrition category. This means that, where breastfeeding is not possible, infants are still able to benefit from the key components of MFGM in their diet.”

According to Arla, milk fat has progressively been replaced by vegetable oils since the middle of the twentieth century, but both fat sources should be present.

Naturally-occurring MFGM is comprised of phospholipids, glycolipids, proteins and glycoproteins and is important for brain and gut health. Arla developed Lacprodan MFGM-10 with bioactive components and a high phospholipid content.

Arla said the ingredient also contains lactoferrin, IgG, sialic acid and gangliosides, and is “produced through gentle processing methods that preserve its nutritional content, avoiding excessive heat treatments and using only mild membrane filtration.”

The Lacprodan is said to support brain development in infants, reduce diarrhea episodes, supports intestinal maturation and a healthy microbiota and reduce the risk of acute otitis media, according to benefits listed on Arla’s website.

Manel Romeu Bellés, industry marketing manager at Arla, said “With MFGM still relatively new in the market, Lacprodan MFGM-10 offers an excellent opportunity for formula companies to achieve differentiation and an early mover advantage.”

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