Formulation challenges overcome: Danone’s Souvenaid launched in powder format for price, portability, convenience
Souvenaid is a medical nutrition drink for supporting memory function in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, including Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) due to AD.
It has been designed to support synapse formation and address specific nutritional requirements that early AD patients may have due to their disease.
It was previously only available in a 125ml ready-to-drink (RTD) format.
The company has launched a powder version of the product in Australia last November.
“The new innovation was developed to meet the needs of patients wanting more travel and storage friendly format and to provide a more affordable option, as price can be a barrier to purchase for patients, especially for the elderly on a basic pension.
“Souvenaid powder contains 12 daily serves per tin, making it a convenient format for travel and storage. It offers a more affordable option for consumers and is similar to the cost of a cup of coffee,” said Dr. Shantanu Das, head of innovation at Danone ANZ.
The powder version comes in two flavours: lemon & orange and vanilla & banana, while the RTD version is available in vanilla, strawberry, and cappuccino flavours.
Although a new format, the powder product is made up of the same formulation as the RTD version.
“Loss of synapses is one of the hallmarks of AD and is associated with impaired memory and other cognitive deficits.
“Souvenaid is intended to address specific nutritional requirements that patients with AD may have due to their synapse loss. It provides nutritional precursors and cofactors that work together to support synapse formation.”
In a RCT involving 311 patients with MCI, it was found that those who drank 125ml of Souvenaid per day for 36 months reported slowed decline on clinical and other measures related to cognition, function, brain atrophy, and disease progression.
Findings of the study were published in Alzheimer's & Dementia.
Over 50 prototypes
The company has trialed over 50 prototypes when developing Souvenaid powder with the aim of delivering a good sensory profile while maintaining the high level of DHA.
The main challenge was to address the off-flavours coming from fish oil, which is a key ingredient in the product.
“When we were designing the powder version, the delivery of Fortasyn® Connect was a key priority,” Dr. Das said.
Fortasyn® Connect is a combination of nutrients for supporting the growth of brain connections. Of which, DHA, EPA, uridine monophosphate; choline; vitamins B12, B6, C, E, and folic acid; phospholipids; and selenium are the key components.
“Souvenaid contains a very high level of DHA (fish oil), which may result in strong sensory properties. We have identified the best source of DHA in powder form, which is least prone to oxidation," he added.
On top of Souvenaid powder, the company also launched Fortifit Muscle and Bone for promoting healthy ageing.
The powder product contains whey protein, leucine, vitamin D, and calcium.
In Australia, it is a Food for Special Medical Purpose (FSMP) for the dietary management of age-related loss of muscle strength, mass, and function.