Several studies have shown that high protein intake during infancy accelerates weight gain and increases the risk of obesity later in life.  Driven by such evidence and regulatory changes, infant formulas are increasingly made with less protein in many countries.
One of the most efficient ways to develop formulas that are low in protein but high in nutritional quality is to formulate them with alpha-lactalbumin (alpha). α-lactalbumin, rich in essential amino acids and large amounts of other amino acids such as cysteine, is the most abundant whey protein found in breast milk  , but is present in much lower amounts in standard formula.
Arla Foods Ingredients has launched a new alpha-lactalbumin-enriched infant formula ingredient, helping to meet this growing demand for low-protein formula. Its latest whey protein isolate, Lacprodan® ALPHA-50, offers a new solution to the above challenge. Alpha-lactalbumin makes up at least 90% of its protein content, which means that smaller doses can achieve levels similar to breast milk.
The high alpha-lactalbumin content of the new product allows a high degree of formulation freedom. For example, it can be used in combination with other functional ingredients such as Lacprodan® MFGM-10. Lacprodan® MFGM-10 is a milk fat globular membrane component containing compounds such as phospholipids, sphingomyelin and gangliosides.
Lone Strøm, Head of Sales Development Pediatrics at Arla Foods Ingredients said, “Lacprodan® ALPHA-50 provides a solution to 2 challenges faced by formula manufacturers. Its high alpha-lactalbumin content enables manufacturers to produce lower protein content product. Demand for formula with lower protein content is growing due to obesity concerns. And because it provides high amounts of essential amino acids, it is easy to mix with other ingredients pursued in formulas, even at lower doses combined.”
This new product is the latest addition to the Alpha range from Arla Foods Ingredients Group. Other products include Lacprodan® ALPHA-06, a whey protein concentrate enriched with alpha-lactalbumin, and Lacprodan® ALPHA-10, which is supported by clinical literature  and 25 years of market use.
Arla Foods Ingredients Group supports WHO’s recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of an infant’s life and continued breastfeeding until 2 years of age or beyond, in combination with nutritionally appropriate complementary foods.