Bunge Loders Croklaan Introduces Betapol® Plus: The Next Generation OPO for Infant Milk Formula


Introduced at Fi Europe, Betapol® Plus sets the new industry standard and gets even closer to the fat composition of mother’s milk

PARIS/WORMERVEER, THE NETHERLANDS – 4 December 2019 – Today at Fi Europe, Bunge Loders Croklaan (BLC), the edible oil business of Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG), unveiled Betapol® Plus, the next generation of premium quality Oleic-Palmitic-Oleic (OPO or SN-2 palmitate) lipids for infant formula. Betapol Plus is the most advanced OPO product of its kind and delivers on BLC’s aim to provide the best solutions for modern-day infant nutrition.

OPO is a uniquely structured lipid naturally present in mother’s milk. Recently honored with the Fi Europe 2019 Innovation Award for Functional Innovation, the new Betapol Plus blend for infant formula offers a 60% OPO or SN-2 palmitate level, which is the highest level available on the market, up to 50% higher than current products. This new solution is closer to the levels in mother’s milk fat than any offering available on the market. Benefits of Betapol Plus for babies include improved energy intake, increased bone mineral density, reduced constipation, healthy gut bacteria, less crying and better sleep.

“There is a strong need in the infant milk formula industry to get as close as possible to the composition and benefits of mother’s milk, ensuring parents have the best alternative available when breastfeeding is not possible,” said Dr. Emiliano Rial Verde, Vice President Nutrition at BLC. “With Betapol Plus, we are providing an option that is closest to nature. It adds significant value to infant formula brands where premium choices are in high demand and to the growing specialty infant formula market addressing diverse dietary needs.”

Developed by BLC, the science behind Betapol Plus is backed by robust clinical studies, scientific research programs and established relationships with key infant nutrition authorities in Europe. “We all agree that breastfeeding is important for infant nutrition and bonding,” says Dr. Wiola Mi, Global Human Nutrition Science Lead of the new generation Betapol. “But when breastfeeding is not an option, choosing the best infant formula, with the best evidence-backed ingredients, is key for babies’ healthy growth and development.”

OPO or SN-2 Palmitate Explained

As lipids are essential for nutrient requirements and contribute to almost half of the baby’s energy intake, the correct lipid structure is key for proper digestion and absorption. OPO is naturally present in mother’s milk, with 60-75% palmitic acid levels in the middle, or SN-2, position, and oleic acid in the outer SN-1 and SN-3 positions. This unique OPO lipid structure allows babies to absorb more nutrients.

Moving from Mimicking to Matching Mother’s Milk Fat Composition

Until now, no ingredient supplier could provide an OPO or SN-2 palmitate level that surpassed 40-45% and most commercial infant formulas have mainly POP (Palmitic-Oleic-Palmitic) fats. Not only do the levels of OPO or SN-2 palmitate in mother’s milk range from 60% to 75% of total lipids, palmitic acid is also more favorably absorbed in the OPO structure rather than in the POP structure. Furthermore, clinical evidence shows a dose-dependent response when OPO or SN-2 palmitate levels are greater than 40%, as levels above this threshold show increased calcium and lipid absorption.

Global Business Unit Nutrition

Betapol Plus is the next illustration of BLC’s heritage and leadership in the development of advanced solutions for infant milk formula. Thirty years ago, BLC first invented OPO, known as Betapol, which quickly became the recognized standard for infant milk formula worldwide. Betapol was the very first enzymatically processed fat blend bringing infant milk formula closer to nature by mimicking the lipid structure of mother’s milk. In 2019, BLC further strengthened its dedication to nutrition innovation by launching a global Nutrition Business Unit focused on delivering high quality, innovative solutions in infant, sports and medical nutrition.

“This new Betapol product is definitely a milestone in our lipid solutions innovation, but not the end,” according to Dr. Emiliano Rial Verde. “Taking advantage of our 30-year experience in specialty lipids for infant nutrition, we are continuously studying the composition and structure of human breast milk to provide customers and consumers with innovative products that are closer and closer to nature.”

About Bunge Loders Croklaan:

Bunge Loders Croklaan (www.bungeloders.com) is a leading global producer and supplier of sustainable plant-based specialty oils and fats for the food manufacturing industry. It operates as the global B2B edible oils business of Bunge Limited (NYSE:BG). Its products are used in a wide range of applications, from bakery and confectionery to culinary and infant nutrition. With in-depth knowledge of ingredients, applications and processes, the Bunge Loders Croklaan team closely cooperates with customers to develop tailored solutions and create innovative products to meet their business goals and differentiate them in in the marketplace

About Bunge:

Bunge (www.bunge.com, NYSE: BG) is a world leader in sourcing, processing and supplying oilseed and grain products and ingredients. Founded in 1818, Bunge’s expansive network feeds and fuels a growing world, creating sustainable products and opportunities for more than 70,000 farmers and the consumers they serve in over 60 countries. The company is headquartered in New York and has 31,000 employees worldwide who stand behind more than 360 port terminals, oilseed processing plants, grain silos, and food and ingredient production and packaging facilities around the world.