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New Zealand Government million dollar research grant - The a2 Milk Company

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New Zealand Government million dollar research grant

December 2, 2015

The New Zealand Government today awarded a $NZ1.15 million High-Value Nutrition research grant to AgResearch Limited to undertake research to validate the benefits of A2 beta casein protein contained in milk-based products on digestive function. The a2 Milk Company is also making a contribution to the study, which also involves The University of Auckland.

The 3-year grant announced by New Zealand Minister for Science and Innovation Steven Joyce is one of seven grants issued as part of a government push to invest funds into areas of High-Value Nutrition. The New Zealand government (guided by careful analyses from independent business and science experts) identified “a2 Milk™ for gut comfort” as a High-Value Nutrition opportunity worthy of this significant research investment.

AgResearch project leader Dr Matthew Barnett stated: “AgResearch has a strong history of research into milk proteins. Some of our recently published work in collaboration with The a2 Milk Company reported on the advantages of a2 Milk™ on digestive function, and this provided the basis for the planned High-Value Nutrition human clinical studies.”

There is emerging evidence that milk exclusively containing the A2 form of beta casein protein supports digestive wellbeing, thereby being suitable for those who perceive themselves to be intolerant to cows’ milk.

Dr Andrew Clarke, a2MC’s Chief Scientific Officer elaborates: “This research, in the form of human clinical studies focusing on small intestinal inflammation and associated symptoms, is aimed to aid the New Zealand dairy industry in capturing a greater share in the most rapidly growing dairy export markets (China and South-East Asia) in which there is a high incidence of perceived dairy intolerance.”

Dr Clarke continued: “Recently published studies and clinical data currently under review for publication strongly indicate that the discomfort some people currently link to lactose intolerance may in fact stem from small intestinal inflammation, which we believe is reduced when a2 Milk™ is consumed.”

The research team will include Professor David Cameron-Smith from the University of Auckland and Dr Clarke.

The Managing Director and CEO of a2MC Mr. Geoffrey Babidge said: “This is tremendous news. The support of the New Zealand government to continue research into the advantages of a2 Milk™ is extremely important as there is vast number of people, particularly in Asian countries, who are missing out on the health benefits of dairy because of a perceived intolerance.”


View a overview of the project:

View the High-Value Nutrition announcement of recipients of its $7M call for food-for-health projects:

Read the media release issued by High-Value Nutrition.

View a selection of photos from the Contestable Funding Announcement Function 2 Dec 2015 …

Hon Steven Joyce     Jolon Dyer, Julia Hoare, Dr Matthew Barnett

Li Day, Julia Hoare     Li Day, David Cameron-Smith, Julia Hoare, John Smart, Hon Steven Joyce, Dr Matthew Barnett


For further information contact:

New Zealand Australia
Barry Akers
Senescall Akers Limited
+64 (0)21 571 234
[email protected]
Rick Willis
Network Four
+61 (0)411 839 344
[email protected]
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