Phytonutrient boom? Extraction tech and science-backed NPD will help, says Frost & Sullivan

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

There are significant opportunities in global phytonutrients to develop superior variants and innovative delivery formats through extraction technology advances, according to a report from Frost & Sullivan.

The global phytonutrient ingredients market will hit €6.3bn (US$7.38bn) by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 7.6%, fuelled by increasing consumer awareness around nutritional benefits and advancements in extraction technologies, according to recent analysis by Frost & Sullivan​. The vitamin E (tocotrienols) segment alone will witness 20.6% CAGR over the next four years.

Arun Ramesh, team leader for agriculture and nutrition at Frost & Sullivan, said Europe currently contributes around 29% to total phytonutrient market revenues and should see good growth in the coming years.

“Ingredient manufacturers in the European market are striving to meet stringent regulations to cater to consumer demand and are making advancements in technology, which in turn, will drive the phytonutrient ingredient market growth,”​ Ramesh told NutraIngredients.

Science-backed claims and tech-driven superior function

The Frost & Sullivan report suggests extraction technologies will play an important role in targeting opportunities within phytonutrients.

“With drive from consumers, food product manufacturers are looking for ingredient manufacturers who can offer them ingredients that are efficient in offering nutritional benefits to consumers,” ​Ramesh said.

Many technology advances so far, he said, focused on delivering this through yield improvement, time efficiency, end-application compatibility, ingredient stability and innovative delivery systems for increased solubility. Tech partnerships or acquisitions will assist developers in continuing this type of product development, he said.

“[Manufacturers need] to come up with ingredients that have superior solubility properties, the ability to be used across multiple food applications, optimal extraction processes that allow retention of nutritional benefits, and health claims backed with scientific data and therapeutic focus.”

Science-backed claims would continue to be increasingly important amongst consumers, particularly in developed countries, he said, where there is a clear preference for products mentioning nutrient percentages and consumption benefits.

“An increase in lifestyle diseases have stimulated consumers across the globe to look for products that have nutritional benefits in them​.”

Phytosterols, polyphenols and vitamin E

Vitamin E's significant surge (CAGR 20.6%) will be driven by the phytonutrient's array of associated health benefits, Ramesh said, including heart health, cholesterol reduction, obesity control and neuro-protection.

Similarly, vitamin E tocopherol could find its place in wider use as a protective ingredient - preventing oxidation and rancidity in functional food and beverages - as consumer demands around efficacy rise.

Ramesh said phytosterols and polyphenols would also continue their upward trajectory at a CAGR of 9.8% until 2022. “Polyphenols offer excellent anti-aging properties, brain health promotion, blood-sugar level maintenance, and preservation of heart health. Phytosterols offer health benefits such as reduction of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.”

Products containing vitamin E, phytosterols and/or polyphenols connect well with consumers seeking prevention of lifestyle diseases and natural cures, he said.

Carotenoids and flavonoids also present growth opportunity, tapping into the 'living healthy' trend amongst consumers and specific therapeutic uses such as flavonoids to reduce menopause symptoms or prevent prostate and breast cancer.

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