The latest publication from GIA, Polyols: A Global Strategic Business Report, finds that of the several methods adopted to reduce the calorie content in food such as fat replacement, the substitution of sucrose with polyols has gained wide application.
“Though polyols behave similarly to sugar in final products, they possess much lower calorie content,” added the researchers, who claim that Asia-Pacific represents the fastest growing market with consumption projected to grow at a compounded annual rate of more than 3 per cent over the analysis period.
Worldwide economic recession negatively impacted the polyols market during 2008 and 2009, found the report, with a decline in demand in the US and European food and confectionery segments, among others, noticeably driving down revenue for suppliers during that period.
The GIA analysts find that more favourable conditions exist currently that will serve to boost recovery and post growth in the ensuing years.
Dow Chemical, Roquette, BASF and Corn Products US represent some of the leading players in the polyols market, notes the GIA overview, with Europe constituting the largest regional market for polyols worldwide.
Cargill is using bulk sweetener polyol, Zerose erythritol, in its reduced calorie chocolate offering that has undergone continuous development since the prototype was launched at FIE at the end of 2009.
The commercial product is set to hit the market at the end of 2011, with confectioners incorporating the chocolate in their product formulations able to use the EU-approved reduced calorie claim on products.
French supplier Roquette, in November last year, flagged up the potential of polyols to boost dental health, following the article 14 positive opinions for sugar-free gum from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) found sugar-free gum based on polyols such as xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol could neutralise dental plaque and reduce tooth demineralisation and that both could reduce the risk of dental caries.
Roquette highlighted evidence showing other polyols could deliver similar effects.
“Even if until now it is xylitol that has been the most studied for its dental properties, it would appear – according to the recent opinions expressed by EFSA – that the benefits for dental health are unconnected with the type of polyol used,” said the company.
Separately, a study last August using Roquette's maltitol-based SweetPearl ingredient and published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, indicated that the polyol can be considered well tolerated by children at up to 15 g/day and could be used to create new sugar free confectionary and food products.