Low-calorie demand pushes up polyol sales The demand for polyols is on the increase, particularly in the food and confectionery market where they are used as low calorie sweeteners, says a new report. The worldwide market for polyols is projected to reach £4.6bn (€5.7bn) by 2012, with an annual growth rate of 4 per cent per annum until 2010, says Polyols: A Global Strategic Business Report published by Global Industry Analysts. While polyols can be used in a wide range of applications, the continuing health and wellbeing trend has been the driver for their increased use in confectionery products. Polyols substitute commercial sugar as sweeteners for better-for-you foods and confectionery, and have been found to have no effect on the final taste or appearance. One polyol sweetener experiencing increased demand is erythritol, which was approved for use in Europe in July 2006, with a set deadline of 18 months to be accepted by all member states. Major players in the polyols market included BASF, Corn Products Specialty and Roquette Freres, according to the report. Cargill offers convenience with new cocoa bags Cargill has responded to customer demands for more convenient packaging for its Gerkens 22/24 Garnet cocoa powder with the introduction of smaller bags. The ingredients company now provides the highly alkalised powder in 5kg bags in the first time it has introduced bags weighing less than 50lbs, meeting the needs of customers with smaller facilities. "The new 5kg bags highlight Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate's ability to meet customer demands for high quality and convenience," said Jan O'Brien, speciality sales director at Cargill. The company said that there has been a growing demand from customers for more compact, more convenient packaging, as the company provides to confectioners, chocolatiers and bakeries of all sizes. The cocoa can be used in baking, pastry, beverage, daily and confectionery applications. Courtney LeDrew, marketing specialist, told ConfectioneryNews.com that the powder is made using nib alkalisation, "which ensures greater consistency during the alkalization process". "Nib alkalisation is preferred on a quality and consistency basis because of the even distribution of the alkalizing agent," said LeDrew. "The even distribution creates a consistent colour, flavour and functionality." Cadbury Schweppes sets demerger date Cadbury Schweppes has set the date of 7 May for the demerger of its beverage arm into the Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG). The group said earlier this week that it has secured credit agreements for the split of the $11bn business, ahead of the proposed listing on the New York Stock Exchange next month. Following the demerger, the confectionery arm will be known just as Cadbury.