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Although aging is part of life, Hilmar Ingredients, Hilmar, Calif., offers an ingredient that can help consumers age gracefully. Hilmar 9420 is a highly functional, 90 percent whey protein isolate that is designed for fortification in neutral and low pH beverages, says Grace Harris, director of applications and new business at Hilmar. It delivers all amino acids needed for good human health while mixing clear into the liquid and reducing astringency in high-acid applications, she says.
As seniors tend to consume smaller volumes and have less efficient metabolisms, it is important that they consume beverages with high nutritional quality, particularly those with a complete protein like whey, to ensure that they meet energy and nutrient requirements, says Gwen Bargetzi, director of marketing at Hilmar. Research suggests that the essential amino acids found in whey protein can stimulate muscle synthesis and combat sarcopenia, a loss in skeletal muscle mass commonly associated with aging, the company says. This helps aging consumers to retain the muscle needed to remain active later in life, Bargetzi says.
“With the advent of new medicines and medical procedures, we are not only living longer, but living healthier, and we expect our old age to be healthier as well,” Bargetzi says. “The task of feeding us for health has fallen to formulators who must hit the winning product trifecta: nutritional, good tasting and appealing.”
To appeal to the weak taste buds of older consumers, Hilmar recommends mixing Hilmar 9420 into a highly flavored beverage. As an ingredient with a bland flavor profile, Hilmar 9420 does not interfere with other beverage flavors, Bargetzi says. The company also recommends mixing Hilmar 9420 into iced teas, orange juices and other familiar beverages popular among older consumers, as the ingredient will not impact the beverage’s color or viscosity, she adds.