Fenchem gets novel foods go-ahead for Cholevel

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Plant sterols Sterol Phytosterol European union Eu

Chinese ingredients supplier Fenchem has received novel foods
notification for its Cholevel plant sterols in the EU, opening up
the way for the ingredient's direct use in foods.

The company previously supplied Cholevel to the EU for use in the manufacture of sterol esters, differentiating it from other products on the market through its non-GM origins.

But now that the branded ingredient can be added to foods directly (such as cholesterol-lowering margarine, mayonnaise and cream products), Fenchem expects sales in the EU to grow by between 30 and 60 percent.

A spokesperson for the company did not give more information on current sales levels, saying just: "The approval will make Fenchem more competitive in EU market."

Fenchem says that it is the only Chinese supplier to have obtained novel foods go-ahead for plant sterols in the EU.

Moreover, Fenchem is offering its customers technical support on use of Cholevel, through its R&D scientists and lab technicians, which may help reduce the time to market for new products.

Fenchem's petition, submitted through the Finnish food regulatory authorities, was based on substantial equivalence to ADM's plant sterols.

However it is unlikely that ADM will be concerned at the new competition. Together with the other market leaders Cognis and Raisio, ADM is said to control 79 per cent of the market, with the remaining 21 percent split between more than 20 smaller players.

Last year Frost and Sullivan estimated that the European phytosterols market would be worth around US$395.2m by 2012.

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