The product, known as ProBOOST + VIT D, was launched under the brand Biostime and is meant for kids age 12 months and above.
It contains the HMO 2’-Fucosyllactose (2’-FL), which functions as a prebiotic, vitamin D, and claims to “support healthy immune system, growth and development”.
Available in powder form, it could be added into water, milk, or consumed with other beverages.
“We decided to launch this product as a supplement rather than an infant milk formula to allow parents and caregivers more options in how they choose to administer it to their child. A supplement format allows it to be added to a child’s foods and/or beverages. This is particularly helpful for this age segment where parents and caregivers are beginning to introduce different types of foods to their children,” Evan Scicluna, global brand director for Biostime Supplements, told NutraIngredients-Asia.
HMOs are complex sugar and are the third largest solid component in the human breastmilk, after fat and lactose.
Some of the more well-known HMOs are 2’FL and 3-Fucosyllactose (3’FL).
Existing studies show that different probiotics feed on different types of HMOs as prebiotics for growth and gut colonisation.
In Australia, 2’-FL was only approved for use as a prebiotic in dietary supplements earlier this year.
German functional ingredient supplier BASF was the first to receive approval from Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to supply 2’-FL for use as a prebiotic in supplements and was given a two-year market exclusivity status.
“Breastmilk is widely regarded as the gold standard of nutrition for infants as it contains a variety of immune supporting components such as HMOs, which play a role in developing breastfed infants’ immune systems from an early age.
“However, in Australia, only one in 10 toddlers are still receiving breastmilk at 12 months of age...It is a fantastic achievement for Biostime Supplements to be the first children’s nutrition brand in Australia to launch a supplement containing HMOs,” Scicluna said.
Expect rapid growth
H&H is expecting a rapid growth in the HMO subcategory in the next five to 10 years.
Outside of Australia, the company is also selling kids supplement containing 2’-FL and probiotics under the Biostime brand in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Currently, HMOs are mostly used in infant formulas.
For Biostime, the brand has a range of HMO formula, also containing 2’-FL, for infants to children up to three years old in Hong Kong and China.
Other examples include Danone, which launched a HMO formula under its Aptamil Essensis range last year. The product is said to be rich in 2’-FL and 3’-galactosyllactose (3'-GL).
“HMOs are the most significant scientific advancement in children’s nutrition this decade. As we have witnessed in other countries, we expect the HMO subcategory to rapidly grow over the next five to 10 years,” Scicluna said.
H&H has been driving research in HMOs and presented at the World Congress of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (WCPGHAN) earlier this month. It presented six abstracts on its early nutrition, human milk composition, HMOs, and microbiome studies.
One of the findings presented showed that key nutrients in mothers’ breast milk will decrease significantly in the first three months of lactation, and that mothers’ BMI can affect the composition of nutrients found in breast milk.