The Dutch firm launched its TensGuard ingredient in November, and claims it is the highest potency tripeptide currently available on the market. TensGuard is a milk-derived tripeptide with the bioactive amino acid sequence IPP (Isoleucine-Proline-Proline). This, says DSM, can help relax blood vessels in people with high blood pressure. "TensGuard is the only product on the market that contains 100 percent IPP, the highest potency Lactotripeptide, and it therefore has a superior blood pressure lowering effect," DSM senior marketing manager Peter Willis told industry members at Expo West in Anaheim, California, earlier this month. While lactotripeptides are present in normal dairy products, they are inactive within the original milk protein. DSM said it activated these peptides with the use of enzymes following five years of research. The proprietary enzyme used is said to release the most effective peptides. Following DSM's presentation of TensGuard at the show, the company told NutraIngredients-USA.com that it received good interest for the new ingredient. High blood pressure Around one billion people worldwide are thought to suffer from high blood pressure, and this figure is likely to more than double by 2025. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that one in three Americans are affected by high blood pressure, and estimates suggest that 90 percent of US adults will develop the condition at some point in their lives. High blood pressure can lead to health problems that fall under the generic term metabolic syndrome, which includes high fasting glucose levels, abdominal obesity, high blood triglyceride levels, and low HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol. The market for products that could help to control blood pressure is therefore a lucrative one, both in the form of foods and dietary supplements. Science DSM said that a study conducted by Unilever (Foltz et al., 2007, Journal of Nutrition) has shown that IPP - the same active principle found in TensGuard - is resistant to digestion, and therefore supports the efficacy of the product. He said a clinical study is due to be published in the summer. Regulation and labeling DSM is targeting its ingredient primarily at the supplement market, but said it could also be used in functional foods. It is derived from casein from cow's milk, which was found to be the best protein source, and it is therefore considered a 'grandfathered' dietary ingredient. This means it qualifies for GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status, according to Willis. TensGuard comes in a powder form, and is immediately available for use in both supplements and foods. However, the ingredient is not currently kosher certified - which has become a priority for most food companies - although DSM said it aims to receive certification by the end of the year. In the US TensGuard must be labeled as 'hydrolyzed casein', while in Europe the label would read 'milk protein (lactotipeptides)'. As the ingredient is hydrolyzed it would not affect people with lactose intolerance, but it cannot be taken by those allergic to milk. According to DSM, there are no side-effects associated with intake of the ingredient. The company said TensGuard is shelf-stable for "at least" 24 months as an ingredient, but said that companies need to do separate stability testing when it is actually used in products.