Phytosterols, which are pegged as “heart-healthy” nutrients, are related to cholesterol vis-a-vis structural behavior and functionality. They are steroid compounds extracted from plants and find application as additives in a range of food products, including spreads, cold cuts, margarine, spicy sauces, milk sausages, yogurts, and bakery products. Phytosterols compete with cholesterols during absorption in the intestines and hence end up lowering cholesterol intake and consequently, the cholesterol level in the human body. Because of this benefit, its market has seen significant growth in the recent past.
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The market for global phytosterols market is expected to exhibit a robust CAGR of 10.0% from 2015 to 2021, to reach a value of US$0.927 bn in 2021.
How has beta-sitosterol managed to witness promising growth thus far?
The different phytosterol products in the market are campesterol, beta-sitosterol, and stigmasterol, among others. Among them, beta-sitosterol has seen blockbuster sales so far due to its use in a wide array medicines that are meant to counter heart disease, strengthen the immune system, and thwart cancer of the colon, skin, and cervix, among others. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even allows manufacturers to claim that foods having beta-sitosterol have the ability to lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Because of all these reasons, beta-sitosterol is expected to extend its winning run in the upcoming years too.
Which are the sectors that are anticipated to generate maximum demand for phytosterols?
Phytosterols find application across sectors such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverages. As food ingredients, however, phytosterols found maximum use in 2014. Demand from the food ingredients sector, because of their ability to lower cholesterol, resulted in over 50.45% of the market in 2014. In the upcoming years between 2015 and 2021, however, demand from the pharmaceuticals sector is projected to outpace that from the food sector. Besides this, the growing disposable income of people worldwide will also lend to the demand for phytosterols from the cosmetics industry.
What are the reasons behind Europe and North America’s lead in the global phytosterol market?
Geography-wise, Europe held a dominant share of over 40% in the global market for phytosterols in 2014. This was mainly due to the use of phytosterols across industries such as food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics in the region. This, alongside the growing prevalence of coronary heart diseases, has boosted the demand for phytosterols in Europe as well as North America. Obesity concerns have also propelled the market in North America.
So far the market for phytosterols has experienced lacklustre growth in Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW), owing to a lack of awareness about its benefits. However, the markets will soon pick up steam to clock maximum growth in the coming years due to the rising disposable income and improved lifestyle of people in the region.
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