Personalised protein: Meiji and DeNA Life Science develop algorithm to deliver intake and source advice

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Meiji and DeNA Life Science have developed an algorithm that could calculate the optimum protein intake for each individual. ©Getty Images
Meiji and DeNA Life Science have developed an algorithm that could calculate the optimum protein intake for each individual. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Meiji, personalised nutrition, Protein

Meiji and DeNA Life Science have created an algorithm that recommends the optimal protein source and intake at a personalised level.

In the lead-up to the creation of the algorithm, the firm had referenced data, including body weight, purpose of protein intake, and amount of exercise from research papers.

It also conducted a survey among 869 consumers mostly between 20s and 70s to find out their demand for protein products to develop the algorithm.

The effect of the algorithm on body composition was then tested on 30 men and women in their 30s and 40s.

Protein personalisation welcomed

In response to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia, ​Meiji said it has decided to develop the algorithm because its survey showed that many consumers did not know how to choose the right protein products. The survey findings also showed that the idea of protein intake personalisation was well-received among the consumers.

“As the protein market expands, many people do not know how to choose the right protein for themselves.

“We wish to propose more effective protein intake methods to customers and supporting them in building a better body,” ​Marina Yamaguchi from Meiji Public Relations said, on the reason for conducting a survey on protein personalization.

Among the 869 respondents surveyed, 64 per cent to 85 per cent of them said they were “very sympathetic” ​or “somewhat sympathetic”​ to the idea of personalizing protein intake.

“We got positive results [from the survey], and so, we have decided to develop an algorithm,”​ Yamaguchi said.  

How does the algorithm work?

The algorithm will calculate an individual’s optimum protein intake by taking in account one’s age, gender, body mass, exercise frequency, and the purpose of protein intake, before advising on the amount and types of protein that one should take.

After testing the algorithm on 30 men and women, it was found that the algorithm had positively impacted their body composition.

Continuous protein intake based on the algorithm had various positive effects, such as an increase in muscle mass – at an average of about 0.4 kg among participants,”​ said Meiji.

As to whether the algorithm will be available for public use or license it as a B2B service, NutraIngredients-Asia ​understands that this is still under consideration.

Meiji’s protein business includes the sports nutrition brand Savas.

In its latest financial results released on November 8, the firm reported that while sales of the powdered-type Savas products had decreased yoy, overall net sales had managed to increase due to stable sales of the ready-to-drink version. 

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