In recent years, much importance has been placed on the research and development of peptides from natural sources. Milk is a source of high quality proteins. Peptides from fermented milk have been proven to possess diverse functions. Currently, scientists have discovered that fermented milk peptides have the potential to regulate blood pressure, emotions, the sleep cycle, and the immune system, as well as to prevent thrombosis, facilitate calcium absorption and muscle growth, and act as antibiotics. Although the fermented milk peptides possess an immense commercial value, continued in-depth researches in this area are still needed.
For example, research results have revealed that fermented-milk peptides can inhibit the activity of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) (an enzyme responsible for high blood pressure). In vivo studies have shown that fermented-milk peptides can regulate blood pressure and thus can be referred to as antihypertensive peptides. These are recommended for patients with prehypertension or those who are at risk of hypertension, in an effort to delay the need for medication. Although peptides from other natural sources (e.g., bovine plasma, tuna, chicken, wild yam, garlic and fungi) also possess the ability to inhibit ACE activity, many show poor results on in vivo studies and thus have limited potential as dietary supplements for regulating blood pressure. Based on industry reports, the business value of protein and peptide healthcare source materials is second only to that of probiotics. This is a segment seeing immense growth. The growth rate of health promoting peptide drinks alone is over 10%. Therefore, fermented milk peptides have a very strong potential for functional research and development as well as industry applications.