In this case study, a research and technology division of a global biotechnology company engaged CPL Business Consultants to assist with commercialising of arachidonic acid and other polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAS) in infant formula.  The client had developed an arachidonic acid product and wanted to assess its attractiveness to infant formula manufacturers.

Through its extensive networks CPL set up a series of face-to-face meetings with senior executives and decision makers at global infant formula manufacturers to discuss the product specifications and their needs. CPL recommended market approach strategy and also advised on how the client could optimise its research efforts.

Arachidonic acid (ARA) is an Omega-6 PUFA found primarily in food sources such as meat, eggs and milk. ARA is a derivative of linoleic acid, derived via gamma-linolenic acid and di homo gamma-linolenic acid. Many experts think that both DHA (an Omega-3 PUFA) and ARA are conditionally essential in infancy as building blocks in the infant nervous system and retina. Commercial production methods for ARA include fermentation with Mortierella alpina.

The objective of this project was to assist in planning the development of ingredients for infant formula and to help define the ‘ideal’ product. Over 100 emails and 150 phone calls were made to 50 key individuals in 12 companies. Face-to-face meetings were held with four companies at their sites and additional face-to-face meetings were held at the ISSFAL Congress with five companies. Further information and background material was obtained via telephone interviews and email from eight further companies.

Click to see the contents of the study or look below for an outline.

Arachidonic Acid and PUFAs in Infant Formula

Objective and Background

Method and Scope

Principal Findings

  • Summary of Company Responses
  • Answers to Specific Questions
    • Oil for Infants
    • GMO Statement/Vision
    • Product Specifications
      • Adverse Fatty Acids
      • Added Value Fatty Acids
      • ARA/GLA Ratio
    • Formulation Preferences
    • Value Chain Integration
    • Competing Products
      • Product Competitiveness
  • Other Findings

Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Strategic Recommendation’s to the Client

Contact Reports

  • Infant Formula Manufacturers
  • ARA Manufacturers
  • Others

Historic Arachidonic Acid News

  • Nestle move spurs Mead Johnson talk
  • Martek Signs Multi-Year Sole-Source Supply Agreement with Numico
  • Martek Signs DHA/ARA License and Supply Agreement With IlDong Foodis for Infant Formula in South Korea
  • Martek Signs Multi-Year Worldwide Sole Source Supply Agreement with Abbott
  • Study finds omega-3 greater anti-inflammatory potential
  • Martek withdraws European patent on ARA oil for infant formula,
  • Martek Signs Multi-Year Infant Formula License and Supply Agreement with Alter Farmacia
  • New European ARA infant formula patent strengthens Martek’s intellectual property position
  • Md.-based Martek Biosciences Corp. lands patent for arachidonic oil,
  • Martek to supply Mead Johnson worldwide with exclusive deal
  • Martek DHA patent upheld in Europe
  • Cargill to market ARA in China joint venture

CPL has worked on many infant formula ingredients including whey protein hydrolysates and nucleotides.  Have a look at our PowerPoint Introduction and Brochure describing deliverables, differentiators and case studies. You can also review eight case studies.

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