Ovotransferrin, also called conalbumin, is a glycoprotein with a molecular weight of 76,000. Ovotransferrin comprises approximately 13% of the protein content of egg albumen. More than sixty years ago, researchers determined that Ovotransferrin is an iron-binding protein, making the iron in a bacterial culture medium nutritionally unavailable to potentially harmful micro-organisms, such as Schigella dysenteria (for which iron is an essential nutrient).

These same investigators later determined that a fraction of human blood serum exerts the same iron-binding action as Ovotransferrin. This blood serum protein was initially named siderophilin, but today is known as human transferrin. Ovotransferrin and blood transferrin are now known to have similar amino acid compositions (see table), as well as similar carbohydrate content.

Transferrins have been identified as a required media ingredient for the maturation of cells. The role of transferrins in culture systems is to provide iron to cells and to detoxify the media by binding contaminating metal ions, such as zinc, iron, and aluminum in their di- and tri-valent forms.

Ovotransferrin belongs to a group of proteins called metalloproteinases that have been found to induce the production of heat shock proteins (HSPs). Clinical trials with Ovotransferrin have found that it is able to induce HSPs in the skin, which provide protection against cold stress and other environmental factors.

HSPs play a fundamental role in life-essential processes and are associated with many areas of biology and medicine. They are known to help cells disassemble and dispose of damaged proteins and to help in the making and transport of new proteins. The role of HSPs in the aging process is not yet clear. However, the ability of Ovotransferrin to induce HSP production suggests it can be effectively utilized in skin creams and moisturizers.

Ovotransferrin, like serum transferrin, is also similar in structure and function to lactoferrin from milk. However, Ovotransferrin can be extracted in larger quantities and is suitable for use in therapeutic programs. Addition of Ovotransferrin to cow’s milk (which is generally low in transferrins) enhances its antibacterial property and makes it comparable to human milk.


An important advantage to using Fordras Ovotransferrin is the elimination of the risk of disease associated with bovine and human derived transferrins.

Another key benefit associated with using Fordras’ OVOPRODUCTS lies in the full range of services, including both technical and applications support that Fordras provides. Fordras works with its customers to meet their unique product specifications.