Sterols Market- Snapshot
Phytosterols or plant sterols are naturally occurring compounds that are found in the cell membranes of plants. Phytosterols are present in cereals, nuts, and vegetables. Commercially, they are obtained from vegetable oils and tall oils. Vegetable oils such as soybean oil, rapeseed oils, sunflower oil, and corn oil contain phytosterols. Increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases across the globe is estimated to drive the demand for sterols during the forecast period. Phytosterols reduce cholesterol absorption, due to their structural resemblance with cholesterol. They are beneficial for human health and thus, they are used in several products such as milk, yogurt, spreads, and margarine.
Rise in the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases is boosting the consumption of phytosterols. Europe is a dominant region of the global sterols market. Every year, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) cause 3.9 million deaths in the region and over 1.8 million deaths in the European Union (EU).
Plant sterols i.e. phytosterols are naturally occurring compounds derived from vegetable oils and tall oils. Phytosterols are similar in structure to human cholesterol. All foods containing vegetable fats (for example, nuts, seeds, cereals, and beans, and products manufactured from them) also contain plant sterols in small amounts. Phytosterols are primarily used in dietary supplements and foods, such as liquid and oil-based supplements, as well as in shots and soft-gelatin capsules, instant powders, and chewable, swallow-able and effervescent supplements. Phytosterols are also used in dairy products such as milk, juices, desserts, yogurt, cake-filling creams, ice creams, and mousses. Phytosterols are also employed in baked goods, biscuits, cookies, cakes, and yeast-raised baked goods. Enrichment of foods such as margarine, cheese, butter, yogurt, condensed milk, and cream with phytosterol esters has been an important development in functional foods to enhance the cholesterol-lowering ability of traditional food products. Thus, rise in the demand for various kinds of foods such as bakery products, dairy products, supplements, and beverages is augmenting the demand for phytosterols.
Based on raw material, the sterols market can be classified into vegetable oil and tall oil. Vegetable oil is the dominant segment of the market, as the availability of vegetable oil is much higher than that of tall oil. The most common phytosterols found in vegetable oils are beta-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, and brassicasterol. Each of the vegetable oils found commercially contain phytosterols in different compositions.
In terms of type, the sterols market can be divided into campesterol, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, brassicasterol, and others. Beta-sitosterol was the leading segment of the global sterols market in 2017 and the trend is projected to continue during the forecast period as well. Beta-sitosterol is present in the maximum amount in vegetable oils as well as tall oils. Increase in the market share of the beta-sitosterol segment can be attributed to high usage of beta-sitosterol in the food dietary supplements industry. Campesterol, another type of phytosterol, is primarily found in nuts, fruits, legumes, and seeds. Campesterol helps in inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol and thus, it is useful in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Campesterol is applied in food ingredients, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
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Based on region, the global sterols market has been divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East Africa. In terms of both revenue and volume, Europe dominated the global sterols market in 2017. Germany is a key country of the sterols market in Europe. Spain, Italy, and France are major countries in the region engaged in the manufacture of sterols. They hold a significant share of the market in Europe. North America is another lucrative region in the global sterols market. Increasing demand for sterol powder among manufacturers of functional food and dietary supplements is driving the market for sterols in North America. Abundance of raw materials i.e. vegetable oils, such as corn oil, soybean oil, and rapeseed oil in Asia Pacific is the key factor responsible for large production of sterols in the region. Demand for sterols in Middle East Africa rose at a moderate pace over the last few years. The trend is expected to continue in the near future also. The sterols market in Latin America is likely to expand at a sluggish pace during the forecast period, due to low demand from various end-user industries in the region.
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Key players operating in the global sterols market are focusing on capacity expansion and mergers. This, in turn, is likely to propel the global market during the forecast period. The number of players, especially small- and medium-scale manufacturers, operating in the global sterols market is significantly large. Therefore, the market is highly fragmented. Key manufacturers operating in the global sterols market are BASF SE, Cargill Incorporated, The Archer Daniels Midland Company, Raisio Plc., Arboris LLC, ConnOils LLC, Vitae Caps S.A., Lipofoods SLU (Lubrizol Company), Xi’an Healthful Biotechnology Co., Ltd., Matrix Fine Sciences Pvt. Ltd., Fairchem Specialty Limited, and Advanced Organic Materials, S.A.