Phytosterols, or plant sterols, are steroid compounds derived from plants which are comparable to cholesterol in their structural behaviour and functionality.
They have an European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved claim attached to their cholesterol lowering abilities, but have been so far difficult to incorporate into food and drinks due to their insolubility in water.
EFSA recommend a daily intake of 1.5-2.4 g of plant sterols.
“Lipophytol provides an innovative delivery system with a demonstrated ability to increase phytosterol solubility in food and beverage matrices. It enables the easy incorporation of phytosterols into a range of food and beverage products,” explained Isabel Gomez, marketing manager for Lipofoods.
The delivery system is based on microencapsulation through water-dispersible coating materials.
The product comes as a fine powder which is ready to be mixed into a number of food applications.
“Lipophytol can be incorporated to a wide range of food applications such as UHT milk, yoghurt drinks, powder blends, juices and dietary supplements (sachets, stick packs, capsules, tablets, etc.),” said David Padró, business manager of Lipofoods.
The company say this saves manufacturers from having to prepare the emulsion before mixing it.
Lipophytol also contains 90% of plant sterols, compared to sterol ester which contains 60%, meaning less product is needed to achieve the daily dosage requirements.
Furthermore, the product contains no palm-oil derivatives due to consumer concerns over the ecological impact of palm oil cultivation.
“The market is looking for palm-free oil sources of all kind of foods, especially retailers due to environmental and health issues associated,” Padró told NutraIngredients.
The final product will be introduced at Vitafoods in Geneva, 9-11 May, at booth No. F52.