Global xylitol market size was estimated over 160 kilo tons in 2015 and is likely to exceed 250 kilo tons by 2023, growing at more than 6% from 2016 to 2023. This market was worth approximately USD 670 million in 2015 and is likely to exceed USD 1 billion by 2023 with gains of close to 6%.
Chewing gum industry was the largest consuming segment and accounted for more than 65% of the total demand in 2014. Confectionary applications were the second largest and accounted for more than 12% of the total demand in 2014. Europe was the dominant region in 2014 and is likely to witness steady growth rates over the forecast period. Asia Pacific is likely to witness highest gains over the forecast period.
Increase in health concerns owing to prevailing lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular issues, obesity and high cholesterol are likely to generate awareness among consumers regarding calorie intake. Natural sweeteners market growth is expected to play a critical role in xylitol market development over the forecast period.
Growth witnessed in the food industry over the last few years particularly in key regions of Europe and North America is likely to drive xylitol market demand. It is used in food recipes to improve shelf life, taste and color as it does not decrease the nutritional value of the proteins present in food products. It can be used solely or with other low caloric sugar substitutes to manufacture sugar-free chocolates, hard candies, chewing gums and pastilles targeting diabetic consumers. Xylitol whole foods market is likely to see an upturn in demand.
Major application includes manufacturing of sugar-free chewing gums. It is used for sweetening both pallet and stick forms of chewing gum as it provides quick cooling effect, flavor and rapid sweetness. It is mostly used for coating pellet forms of sugar-free chewing gums owing to its rapid drying and crystallization properties. However, few brands such as Gross & Wrigley only use xylitol to manufacture sugar-free gums while other use it with combination of other low calorie sweeteners to optimize the sweetness, shelf life and texture.
Increasing application scope in pharmaceutical applications is likely to drive market over the forecast period. It can be used as a sweetener or excipient in cough syrups, vitamin and tonic preparations. As it is chemically inert, it can neither mold nor ferment and sweetened medicines can be consumed by infants and adults. In tablets, it can be also used as a carrier or a sweetener.
The FDA permits xylitol based products for medical claims as it does not cause dental cavity. This factor is expected to favor its use in oral care products such as mouth rinses and artificial saliva.
Its industrial production is through chemical process. The process uses sugar hydrogenation which requires natural catalyst at high pressure & temperature conditions. The costs associated and energy requirements with this chemical process are high, therefore, biotechnological method of manufacturing has gained importance over the past few years.
Hydrogenation of xylose in the presence of raney nickel catalyst with further processing can yield up to 50-60% of xylitol. The refining and separation steps are cost effective which can give a competitive advantage to companies entering into bio xylitol feedstock market. The precursor xylose is mainly obtained from agricultural and forestry wastes either by enzymatic or chemical hydrolysis. Bio xylitol market price trend may prove to be cost effective as it is obtained from renewable sources and replace conventional product in applications such as food & beverages and pharmaceuticals.
Xylitol downstream potential market includes its use as a building block or platform chemical for glycol, glycerol, xylaric acid and hydroxyl furan. Increase in elastomers demand for various applications such as transportation, electronics & electrical, insulations and construction is likely to drive xylitol downstream market.
Europe was the major consumer over the past few years. Consumers in countries such as Germany, UK, France and Netherlands are likely to witness an increase in demand owing to growing health concerns coupled with rising sugar prices. North America is likely to witness moderate gains owing to growth of pharmaceutical industry. Asia Pacific is likely to witness significant gains over the forecast period owing to growing demand of low caloric sweeteners demand in countries such as China and India.
The global xylitol market share is moderately consolidated and is characterized by technological advancements and intense competition with significant changes witnessed in consumer preferences. It is important for the competitors to enter in to the market with product differentiation and service offerings. Key companies operating include DuPont, Cargill, Ingredion, CSPC Shengxue Glucose and Mitsubishi Shoji Foodteckh. Other prominent companies include Hangzhou Shouxin Biological Technology, TATA Chemicals, ZuChem, Thomson Biotech and Roquette Frres.
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