Global speciality oils and fats supplier Bunge Loders Croklaan (BLC) has launched a certified organic oleic-palmitic-oleic (OPO) ingredient for infant milk formula in China and Europe, the company announced on 5 September.

The latest in BLC’s infant nutrition portfolio, Betapol Organic mimics the lipid structure of human breast milk, the company said.

“We’ve seen the demand for organic infant milk formula growing, but clinically proven ingredients with organic certification are lacking,” Dr Emiliano Rial Verde, vice president of BLC Nutrition said.

OPO, or SN-2 palmitate, is a uniquely structured lipid that is naturally present in mother’s milk.

The presence of palmitic acid in the middle position (SN-2 palmitate) had been clinically proven to improve energy intake, reduce constipation, increase bone mineral density, positively affect healthy gut bacteria, improve fine motor skills, reduce crying and result in better sleep, BLC said.

Other products in BLC’s infant nutrition range include: Betapol, the company’s original OPO product, with 55% of palmitic acid in the SN-2 position; Betapol Plus, with 65% to 75% SN-2 levels; Betapol Select with high SN-2 palmitate levels with the correct balance of OPO and OPL (linoleic acid in positions 1 or 3) to mimic the fat composition of Chinese mothers’ milk, with tailored OPO-OPL ratios available.

BLC operates as the edible oils business of US agribusiness giant Bunge and its products are used in a wide range of applications, from bakery and confectionery to culinary and infant nutrition.