Danisco highlighted the depth of scientific backing for the cholesterol-lowering potential of phtosterols, consumer acceptance, and regulatory approval for health claims in announcing its move into the space that adds to its vitamin K heart health-targeting ingredient.
“Health claims for phytosterols relating to the reduction and/or maintenance of blood cholesterol have been approved widely,” said Oliver Hasselwander, technology and business development senior manager in health and nutrition at Danisco.
“Both the Food and Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authoroty (EFSA) have approved phytosterols for disease risk reduction claims, allowing food and supplement developers to market the link between the cholesterol-lowering benefits of phytosterols and a reduced risk for heart disease.
“In addition, phytosterols have high consumer awareness in more established markets such as Europe and to some extent the US, and have significant growth potential in emerging markets such as Asia, Eastern Europe and South America.”
“We would hope to see the first products with PinVita phytosterols become available to consumers within the next 12 months."
Danisco announced at the start of the month that it had entered a sourcing arrangement with US firm Arboris.
It is Danisco’s first sterol/stanol venture and the company highlighted dietary supplements, fats and oils, dairy and bakery products as key applications across regions.
The company declined to release pricing details as it enters the market that is dominated by players such as BASF/Cognis, Cargill and Raisio.
On points of differentiation with existing offerings, Hasselwander highlighted their formulation neutrality, allergen- and GMO-free status, and observed: “PinVita phytosterols are derived from a natural and sustainable pine source.”
The ingredient will get a formal launch at Vitafoods Europe in Geneva in a couple of weeks.
The EFSA approved health claim states: “…1.5 - 1.9 g and 2.0 - 2.4 g plant sterols/plant stanols per day was observed to lower blood LDL-cholesterol by an average of 8.5 % and 8.9 %, respectively. The Panel concludes that for an intake of 1.5 - 2.4 g/d an average reduction of between 7 and 10.5% can be expected. The Panel considers that such a reduction is of biological significance in terms of reduced risk of coronary heart disease.”
The global phytosterols raw materials market is estimated at €300m and growing at between 7-9%, Danisco said.