Global Chemical Companies are investing huge money to push forward the production of indigestible sugar, which is found naturally in breast milk. The Idea of breast Milk as adults supplements has attracted USD $40 Mln Investment.
HMOs are known as prebiotics, nourishing desirable microorganisms that occur naturally or from probiotics, are typically found in natural breast milk. DowDuPont Inc. and BASF SE are set to make it possible soon.
HMO, the third most common ingredient found in breast milk after lactose and fat, is not typically digested, which allows it to reach the colon where it feeds beneficial bacteria acting as prebiotics. The breastfed babies always fare better than formula-fed, as it strengthens the developing immune system, helping battle infections and inflammations as well as adding to brain development, multiple research findings suggest.
Recent studies show that HMO may be beneficial for grown-ups as well because of the so-called “good” bacteria that live in the colon and aid general metabolism. The scientifically proven benefits of HMO have led DuPont to set ambitious goals of expanding its artificial HMO production capacity this year, with the company planning to invest $40 million in the adult-targeted project while expecting the annual market to reach $1 billion.
HMOs, including of its varieties, 2’FL, are produced through a fermentation process using giant vats filled with microbes and could lead to treatments for adult ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome, allergies and even the ageing brain.
DuPont is currently marketing its 2’FL HMO, branded as CARE4U, to consumer manufacturers who can use it in adult supplements for digestive and immune health, said Ratna Mukherjea, global research and development leader at DuPont. Smaller rivals in the digestive health sphere include Jennewein Biotechnologie GmbH, FrieslandCampina of Germany, and Danish biotechnology company Glycom S/A that is targeting the adult market with HMO supplements, touted for fighting symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome among others.
Abbott was the first to bring HMOs to the US baby nutrition market in 2016, further expanding it to 15 countries. When it comes to the adult market, German chemical giant BASF began ramping up production of 2’FL this year, while at the same time studying how the different health effects of HMOs might be developed into a range of products beyond baby formula.