A gold medal for recovery? FrieslandCampina DMV develops innovative casein isolate 


14 Feb 2018 --- FrieslandCampina DMV has introduced their latest innovation in dairy protein ingredients. Micelate Prestige has been launched this week in Europe and is a key addition to the company’s growing portfolio of Performance Nutrition solutions. 

The role of sports performance nutrition solutions, including dairy proteins, is already clearly on display at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea, where FrieslandCampina has a collaboration in place with the Dutch Olympic team. FrieslandCampina has developed five types of protein supplements – whey and casein-based – for all athletes of TeamNL. These proteins, which are tested for banned substances, have been part of the team’s training and nutrition strategy on their road to the Games, which started last weekend.

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Dutch skater Sjinkie Knegt has already won a silver medal
in the short track events at Pyeongchang 2018.

Dutch skater Sjinkie Knegt, who has already won a silver medal in the short track events at Pyeongchang 2018 and still has two more races to go, noted the importance of dairy proteins in performance. “Being an Olympic short track speed skater, nutrition plays a very important role in preparing for my races. I need top quality and great tasting proteins to build up my strength. Dairy proteins are my first choice, as they have premium quality with high nutritional value, taste great and are easy for my body to absorb.”

“From the Dutch Olympic team collaboration, we learned that the nutritional advantage is of main importance,” Mai Nygaard, DMV’s Marketing Director tells NutritionInsight. “Next to that transparency of the origin of the protein, such as the use of grass-fed fresh milk is important, since these athletes look for a protein source they can trust. And since elite athletes consume several protein beverages a day, a good taste and mouthfeel is also essential.”

Clinical studies show that casein ingestion prior to sleep increases muscle mass and strength. DMV’s latest innovation, Micelate Prestige is a premium quality, cold-processed, native micellar casein isolate, which is derived from high-quality milk. Backed by latest FrieslandCampina research, its difference lies in its prolonged digestion profile when compared to other common dairy protein sources available in the sports nutrition market today. This prolonged digestion profile ensures a sustained release of amino acids, supporting muscle mass and strength gain during sleep or whenever a longer recovery period is available. This profile is perfectly suited to meet the overnight recovery needs of elite athletes.

Mieke Acda, Product Group Manager at FrieslandCampina DMV, explains: “Consumers and athletes around the world are increasingly looking beyond just protein ingredients towards more natural and less processed nutritional solutions with proven benefits. Our journey in developing this solution started with understanding the requirements of elite athletes. Our end user research indicated athletes’ priorities lie in supporting their recovery and increasing their performance to the maximum – but so far there was no premium solution available that ticked all the right boxes. Micelate Prestige addresses those needs and is now available to sports nutrition manufacturers looking to tap into overnight recovery and the ‘clean & natural’ label trend.”

Click to EnlargeJust as with regular micellar casein, Micelate Prestige extraction process starts with fresh milk, but that is where the similarities end. Micelate Prestige micellar casein isolate is obtained through microfiltration, which results in a 95:5 casein: whey ratio. It is cold-processed and native which means the structure of the micelles is comparable to that of fresh milk. Instantized for ease-of-use, Micelate Prestige offers a pleasant sensory experience, and it is an ideal component for high protein powdered beverages. Its’ slow digestion profile makes it suitable for products aimed towards evening consumption. 

In terms of the biggest potential application areas for this ingredient, Acda notes to NutritionInsight that the focus will be on label conscious athletes, with 64 percent of athletes reportedly reading the label of sports nutrition products before buying. “Micelate Prestige has differentiating label options that attract elite athletes who are looking for the best nutrition for recovery. For sports nutrition manufacturers, this protein source is a great opportunity to ‘stand out from the crowd’ with attractive benefits on cold-temperature processing, native and a slower digestion profile,” she notes. 

Several studies confirm pre-sleep intake of casein support better performance. For example, a recent study conducted by Dr. Luc van Loon at Maastricht University (1) showed that protein ingestion before sleep can optimize post-workout recovery during the night. Since the initial breakthrough, similar effects have been shown with a dosage of 30g of casein. This is a strategy an elite athlete should consider. 

“Many nutritionists already recommend pre-sleep intake of casein. In 2017, the International Society of Sports Nutrition included the use of casein before sleep in their recommendations (2). Based on several interviews of elite and Olympic athletes, we see more use of pre-sleep protein intake and casein is the preferred protein choice,” says Acda. Click to Enlarge

She notes how casein is slowly digested compared to the much faster whey. This has been established since the first study from Boirie in 1997. However, the question is whether all casein sources are digested slowly and at which rates. “With our research team, we confirmed that Micelate Prestige is more slowly digested when compared to other common dairy protein sources. Not only is it slower compared to whey, it also showed a different digestion pattern compared to calcium caseinate, crosslinked caseinate and milk protein concentrate (3). These data suggest that Micelate Prestige has a unique digestion profile and allows athletes to augment muscle mass and strength gains over longer periods of time” she adds.

Acda stresses that since Micelate Prestige solution is brand new, athletes are yet to experience the full effect of incorporating it into their daily routine. “But we already had some enthusiastic feedback from athletes on the benefits and taste profile,” she concludes. 

By Robin Wyers

1.    Snijders T, et al Protein Ingestion before Sleep Increases Muscle Mass and Strength Gains during Prolonged Resistance-Type Exercise Training in Healthy Young Men. J Nutr 2015.
2.    International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Jun 20;14:20. 
3.    FrieslandCampina expert statement on slow digesting micellar casein. Available upon request.


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