US agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co(ADM) announced June 13 it has formalized an agreement with Japanese food starch and maltodextrin producer, Matsutani Chemical Industry Co and their US subsidiary Matsutani America.
"With the increased attention to health and the deficiency of dietary fiber in the human diet, we have seen an increased demand for Fibersol-2 in both the US and worldwide markets," said ADM corn processing vice president Kris Lutt.
The market for soluble fiber, such as digestion resistant maltodextrin Fibersol-2, is set to increase by almost twice the compound annual growth rate of insoluble fiber. The growth ratio is 26.3 percent for soluble versus 13.1 percent for insoluble - according to a recent report from market analyst Frost and Sullivan.
The US market is playing catch-up to the European and Japanese markets where soluble fiber already has a greater share.
The entire fiber market in the US alone was worth $192.8m in 2004, $176.2m of which is insoluble fiber and $16.6 million soluble, cite Frost and Sullivan.
Statistics show there is an overall need for more fiber in the US diet. Only 25 percent of Americans met the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber between 1994 and 1996, according to US Department of Agriculture statistics.
The benefits of Fibersol-2 are it be added to dietary supplements and a wide range of foods and beverages, without adding unwanted flavor, texture or color, says the company.
The branded product will now be manufactured for the joint venture, as well continue being manufactured for Matsutani. Fibersol-2 was originally produced in Japan, where it was also used for a number of years, but production capacity proved insufficient, says Matsutani. Since 1999, it is produced exclusively in Iowa through an agreement with ADM.
With global incidence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes on the rise, there is a ripe market for soluble fiber.
Soluble fiber is edible matter, often from plants, that is not absorbed by the small intestine. When it passes to the large intestine, soluble fiber can help reduce glucose absorption and diminish LDL cholesterol levels - thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and regulating blood sugar for people with diabetes.