South Australian based Beston Global Foods has walked away from this year's World Beverage Innovation Awards a winner with its Immune+ drink, which uses the milk protein lactoferrin as a major ingredient.
The winners and finalists were announced during a virtual ceremony on November 11.
The judging panel took into consideration 279 entries from 25 different countries across 22 award categories.
"We are absolutely delighted to win such a prestigious award in light of the number of globally recognised brands and a suite of new, innovative products," Beston's CEO Jonathan Hicks said.
"This award is testament to Beston's agility and focus on innovation and spearheading the emerging consumer category of anti-viral supplements.
"The Immune+ drink is formulated with lactoferrin produced at our Jervois SA facility, which we are currently upgrading to produce a minimum of 12 tonnes per annum.
"Lactoferrin is well known for its significant anti-viral and immune boosting properties and there is considerable research being undertaken presently relating to its potential to enhance the human immune response to COVID-19."
Increased lactoferrin production is a key priority for Beston.
In line with the current upgrade of their Lactoferrin Plant, Beston are developing a number of other retail focused products, targeting the emerging anti-viral consumer category and are collaborating with a number of nationwide retailers.
Beston is expected to launch Immune+ in Australia later this year and is holding discussions with international distributors.
Beston currently purchases and processes more than 20 per cent of South Australian produced milk.
Extracting as much value as possible from every kilogram of milk solids they receive will allow Beston to pay those SA dairy farmers more.
"Beston is committed to increasing earnings and returns from milk solids," Mr Hicks said.
"The continued investment into lactoferrin and other micro components extracted from milk solids, is expected to contribute significantly to Beston's earnings profile and therefore capacity to continue to pay a market leading rate for SA milk."
It was the 18th year the World Beverage Innovation Awards had been held.
"Once again, we have seen a broad range of categories represented in the entries," FoodBev Media senior awards marketing executive, Laura Nettle, said.
"From new flavours, new concepts and new functions to branding, packaging and manufacturing, we have seen key trends emerge as this industry continues to innovate more sustainably.
"The World Beverage Innovation Awards truly celebrate some of the most ambitious new products and developments of the year from both new and established brands in the global beverage industry."
Lactoferrin is an iron-binding glycoprotein with significant, proven anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
It is in high demand in the global pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets and commands high prices with high margins.
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