LTP's technology platform is based on formulated lipids from natural resources like oat oil, which it uses to develop delivery systems for functional foods, dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals.
The company's current annual sales are around €5m, and its flagship ingredient is Olibra, a combination of oat and palm oil that has been the subject of several studies into its role in reducing calorie intake, as a result of improved satiety.
Rob van Leen, DSM's chief innovation officer, revealed that research is already underway to develop new weight management products and solutions using LTP's technology. It is also expected that new applications will be developed in the future, outside of the weight arena.
The two companies already have a relationship dating back three years, since DSM made its initial investment in LTP. Over time, it gained a 27 per cent share in the company. Moreover, DSM has had the exclusive global sales and marketing rights to Olibra for the dairy foods market since mid-2005 (DSM brands Olibra as Fabuless).
DSM has called the acquisition of the remaining shares in LTP a "natural step".
"The acquisition of LTP fits seamlessly with DSM's strategic drive, Vision 2010 - Building on Strengths, in which we focus on market driven growth and innovation, with nutrition being one of the main areas," said DSM managing board member Feike Sijbesma.
DSM has been shifting away from the traditional vitamin market, which has been under price pressure in recent years due to raw material costs and lower prices from Chinese suppliers, and into innovative new ingredients.
As tackling obesity a major priority for government health departments in Western countries, weight management is an area of keen interest for healthy ingredient makers.
Obesity in Europe is a serious problem, with up to 27 percent of men, 38 percent of women, and 3m children clinically obese in some parts of the bloc.
The retail market for weight management products was estimated by Euromonitor International to be worth US$0.93bn (€0.73) in Europe in 2005 and $3.93bn in the US.
Satiety and appetite suppression is an interesting subset of weight management, aiming to help dieters 'stay on the wagon'. If a person is used to consuming large portions of protein-rich foods with a high fat content, they may still be hungry after eating smaller portions of healthier foods. Foods with enhanced satiety increase feelings of fullness after eating, acting as a boost to a person's will-power and helping them avoid a reversion to old habits in a bid to stave off hunger pangs, or 'grazing' in between meals.
A search of Mintel's Global New Products Database showed up several new beverage, smoothie, biscuit, chocolate, yoghurt and supplement products claiming to boost satiety. These are sold in various markets around the world, including France, Poland, USA, and Australia.
In addition to Olibra/Fabuless, other ingredients aimed at satiety have entered or are due to enter the market place.
The best-known appetite suppressant ingredient amongst consumers is undoubtedly Hoodia gordonii, the succulent from Africa's Kalahari desert that has been used for centuries by the bushmen to ward off hunger. In 2004, Unilever obtained the right to use the patented active extract of Hoodia, known as P57, in a range of slimming foods in a deal with UK-based drug developer Phytopharm;
Swedish researchers of a compound found in green leaves that has been found to suppress appetites and boosts weight loss in lab animals. Tylakoids, tiny membranes in the choloroplasts and sources of minerals, proteins and fats, appear to inhibit the digestion of fat. This means the fat stays in the intestinal tract for longer and sets off satiety signals;
Hong Kong-based Gencor is currently launching Slimaluma, from a succulent called Caralluma Fimbriata from India, for use in dietary supplements in the US;
Last year Lipid Nutrition introduced PinnoThin, derived from the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid pinolenic acid which comes from the seeds of the Korean pine nut tree, Pinus koraiensis;
US-based PacificHealth Laboratories is funding research at the UK's Manchester University into its Satrietrim technology, which uses certain proteins and fats to stimulate the satiety peptide cholecystokinin.