US dairy ingredients company Glanbia Nutritionals, a division of Irish-based Glanbia, has announced that it has completed the first phase of an expansion of its whey processing capabilities to create new protein ingredients.

The company said that in this initial phase, extensive research and development efforts have led to the development and commercialisation of high-quality whey hydrolysates. The second phase of the $4m expansion will be complete in early 2004.

"We're continuously expanding our capabilities to bring new solutions to our customers, helping them improve upon their finished products," said Jerry O'Dea, president of Glanbia Nutritionals.

The company said that among these new solutions are products for the bar and beverage weight loss markets. BarFlex™, a partially hydrolyzed whey protein isolate that extends the shelf life of nutritional bars, is the result of a new, patent-pending technology, the company said. The ingredient allows for high whey protein content in low-carb bars, maintaining a soft texture over a longer period of time as compared to regular whey protein isolate.