While research had identified the benefits of functional foods based on milk peptides, very little had been translated into commercial products, said professor Dolores O'Riordan, from University College Dublin.
Milk peptides had been shown to modulate the digestive, cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems, claimed O'Riordan. But one of the main reasons for the lack of commercialisation of bioactive milk peptides is their low yields and consequent high cost of production.
However, looking to the future she suggested there might be opportunities for the commercial isolation of protein isolates such as sodium caseinate, she said.
"Maybe there is an opportunity to look at it in a more holistic fashion," she remarked. For large-scale manufacture, concentrating the starting material might help.