Tamarack Biotics is launching a new milk-based protein today to be used in foods and beverages in the sports, early childhood and elderly nutrition categories. The dry dairy ingredient also has an application in the allergy suppressor market.

Tamarack Biotics, based in Fresno, Calif., is selling milk protein concentrate 85 (MPC 85) under the name TruActive. It is said to contain more immune active proteins than any other food ingredient on the market.

Company founder Bob Comstock told Dairy Foods that he uses ultraviolet technology instead of high heat to render raw milk safe to consume. This gentle-heat processing retains most of the immune-active proteins found in raw milk that are otherwise destroyed by high-heat treatment. He said that the process offers the same safety standards as thermal pasteurization. 

Tamarack Biotics uses a technology from SurePure called  Turbulator, which spins milk into turbulence around a UV lamp, enabling pathogen reduction to the same safety levels as thermal pasteurization -- without destroying the unique immune active proteins.

UV light pasteurizes the milk at 4 C and the milk is dried at temperatures less than 50 C. Tamarack had been making the dry milk powder at its pilot plant, but in order to make the quantities needed for commercialization, the company turned to a dairy processor.
“We went from making hundreds of pounds to thousands of tons,” Comstock said.

The company achieved GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status last month for its TruActive NF ingredient. 

Comstock said Tamarack Biotics and UC Davis are currently conducting a clinical trial on TruActive’s ability to awaken the immune response of elderly patients. Further clinical trials are planned.

The current trials are:

Elderly Vaccine Response. Elderly people’s immune systems become less active and able to respond to a vaccine or illness. This double blind study of 50 patients, conducted with the University of California, Davis, is investigating TruActive’s effect on Pertussis vaccine response. The trial, which began in August 2016, is expected to be completed in mid-2017.
Mouse-Model Therapeutic Effect on Asthma. This study, which started in January 2017, is being conducted in Switzerland to determine if a therapeutic effect is observed on asthmatic mice who consume TruActive. 

Promotional material from the company cites a number of studies demonstrating the benefits of immune active proteins. For example, cyclists who supplemented their diet with a milk product rich in immunoglobulins improved their performance and reduced their fatigue levels during high-intensity training. 

The company also cites research and trials linking reduced instances of allergies and asthma to consumption of unpasteurized milk. The implication is that heat treatment kills off compounds  in milk that could protect against developing these symptoms.