13 February 2012

Innovation Around The Clock At Synlait Milk


Canterbury milk powder manufacturer, Synlait Milk recently completed production of an innovative new milk powder designed to assist people with sleep disorders.

The new product dubbed Synlait Night Milk is made by collecting milk produced by cows during the hours of darkness, and subjecting it to specialised processing at Synlait Milk’s state-of-the-art nutritional plant in Dunsandel.

Synlait Milk Research Manager, Dr Simon Causer, explains that cows produce a sleep-promoting hormone called melatonin during the hours of darkness, and just as with human mothers, this hormone is expressed in the milk.

“Melatonin plays a key role in helping humans regulate day-night cycles, and by selectively collecting milk produced by cows during the night we can create a 100 percent natural sleep aid”, says Causer.

Synlait Milk has partnered with sister company, Synlait Farms, to produce Synlait Night Milk, with additional support from the New Zealand Government.

“Having determined the feasibility of production, and that the change of routine has little effect on the behaviour of the cows”, Causer says “the next step in the process will involve carrying out a clinical trial to demonstrate efficacy of the product when taken by a study group comprising patients with insomnia”.

The trial will involve patients drinking a glass of Synlait Night Milk 30 minutes prior to going to bed, and various measures of sleep quality will be taken during the course of the night to demonstrate the effectiveness of the product compared with conventional milk.

Synlait Milk General Manager for Market and Product Development, Dr Tony McKenna, says products such as Synlait Night Milk command a substantial premium over conventional milk powders, and offers a means of capturing additional value for Synlait Milk and its suppliers.

“We have identified a significant market for such products in Asia and Europe, with key consumers likely to be professional people, the elderly and international travellers, all of whom can experience a high incidence of sleep disorders.”

“Because much of the value is created on farm, our milk suppliers for this product will share in the premium, just like our colostrum suppliers do. Special milks produced on farm are central to our strategy for the very reason it takes advantage of the great farm-processor-customer supply chain we operate with.”

The Synlait Night Milk programme is part of a suite of initiatives Synlait Milk is working on to develop its nutritional products business, a cornerstone of which has been the opening of a $100million infant nutritional plant in November 2011.


For more information please contact:

Michael Wan
Marketing and Communications Manager Synlait Milk Ltd
P: +64 27 288 8253
E: michael.wan@synlait.com www.synlait.com

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