Danone has been granted a patent for a process to manufacture infant formula. The process involves steps such as protein hydrolysis, heat treatment, mixing with lipids, homogenization, emulsification, extrusion, and preparation of the formula. The patent also covers the infant formula product obtained through this process and a modular system for performing the process. GlobalData’s report on Danone gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Danone, lactobacilli-based drug compositions was a key innovation area identified from patents. Danone's grant share as of September 2023 was 52%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Process for manufacturing infant formula with specific ingredients and steps

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Danone SA

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11707079B2) describes a process for manufacturing an infant formula product. The process involves several steps to create a homogenized oil-in-water emulsion with a specific total solids content, followed by extrusion and preparation of the final product.

The process begins by providing an aqueous mixture with a protein component and a carbohydrate component. This mixture is then subjected to a protein hydrolysis step, followed by a heat treatment step to obtain a heat-treated aqueous mixture. The heat-treated mixture is then mixed with a lipid component and subjected to a homogenization and emulsification step to create a homogenized oil-in-water emulsion with a total solids content ranging from 45-80 wt %.

Next, the homogenized emulsion is conveyed into an extruder, where digestible carbohydrates and optionally dietary fibers are added. The contents of the extruder are then extruded to obtain an extruded material. The final step involves preparing an infant formula product from the extruded material, with the total solids content of the homogenized emulsion ranging from 45-73 wt % and the extrusion performed at a temperature below 85°C.

Additional details of the process include the total solids content of the initial aqueous mixture ranging from 10-40 wt %, the protein hydrolysis being carried out at a pH of 4-10, and the option to perform ultrafiltration and evaporation steps to increase the total solids content of the mixture. The process also involves drying and milling of the extruded material in the preparation of the infant formula product.

The patent claims also specify the weight ratio of whey protein to casein in the protein component, the addition of digestible carbohydrates and dietary fibers as dry powders or concentrated liquids, and the use of skim milk and/or whey protein concentrate as sources of the protein component and carbohydrate component.

Overall, this patented process provides a detailed and specific method for manufacturing an infant formula product, ensuring the desired composition and quality of the final product.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.