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Phytosterols are fatty tissues of plants, which are present in their cell membranes. The highest amount of phytosterols are found in brussels sprouts, lettuce, blueberry, and vegetable oils. Phytosterols include beta-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, ergosterols, and others. They have a similar structure like cholesterol, but the uptake of the phytosterols is much less in the human body as compared to cholesterol-this has led to its increased incorporation in the diet. The growing trend among the consumers for blending vitamins, herbal extracts, and minerals in fortified food is driving the global phytosterol market.
The Food and Drug Administration of United States grades the phytosterols under the category of generally recognized as safe(GRAS), and the European Union Scientific committee categorizes it as safe for consumption in dairy products. The use of phytosterols as additives in sauces, margarine, yogurt, and other dairy products has led to their increased market presence. The phytosterols possess the cardioprotective ability, and the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular diseases has promoted its use for the formulation of medicines in curing heart diseases, leading to enhanced market penetration.
Key Market Driver -
Increasing Demand for Natural Food Additives
Key Market Restraint -
Competition from Similar Functional Products
The demand for phytosterols as a food additive is surging due to the growing integration of herbal extracts, vitamins, and minerals in various fortified foods. The compatibility of the phytosterols with the other additives like tocopherols has led to its incorporation in bakery and functional foods. The consumers’ changing outlook towards plant-based anti-aging products has added on to fuelling the phytosterols market.
The availability of similar products that help in curbing cholesterol and other heart ailments- plant fiber psyllium, which helps in keeping cholesterol levels at a check coupled with being inexpensive, is expected to hamper the phytosterols market. The other plant-based antioxidants and anti-aging chemicals like lycopene and tocopherols are also used as an analogue for the phytosterols.
Some of the major key players that are operating in the global phytosterols market include Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill Incorporated, Merck Group, Ashland Inc., K. Patel Phyto Extractions Pvt Ltd., BASF SE., Arboris LLC., Hyphyto Inc., PrimaPharm B.V., Lipofoods SLU., and Dérivés Résiniques et Terpéniques.
The most prevalent phytosterols among the others are B-sitosterol. The B-sitosterol and campesterol are the most commercially incorporated phytosterol in fortified foods. The stigmasterol is used for manufacturing semi-synthetic progesterone. The increasing prevalence of various cancers and cardiovascular diseases owing to climatic changes and stressful lifestyle is accounted for increased incorporation of phytosterols for medicinal purposes. The integration of phytosterols in baked products and yellow fat spreads due to its low-fat content is expected to drive the market.
Europe is one of the largest regional market for phytosterols owing to the growing consumption of plant-derived fortified foods. The European Commission has approved upon Horizon 2020 strategy for the industrial development of natural products and integrating them with science and technology, which has opened up new avenues for the phytosterols. This strategy is anticipated to boost the phytosterol market in the region.
Asia Pacific region is the upcoming market for phytosterols- the increasing awareness among the consumers due to digitalization, which is leading to more market penetration. The growing disposable income rate of the consumers in countries like China, India, and Japan has nudged them to shift towards plant-based products in their diet, driving the phytosterols market.
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North America's phytosterol market is witnessing significant growth as a larger population is facing health problems like obesity and cardiovascular diseases due to their sedentary lifestyles. Thus, they are inclining towards healthy and low-calorie food additive. The inculcation of the natural food supplements in their diet, especially among the younger cohort, having a positive impact on the phytosterol market.
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