Natural sweeteners are gaining high importance and demand due to the increasing health concerns over the consumption of sugar and problems related to the safety of some non-nutritive artificial sweeteners. Natural sugars have wide application in the industries, including food processing, pharmaceuticals, personal care, and others, which in turn creating demand for the various natural sweeteners.
Based on type, the natural sweeteners market is dominated by sorbitol. The majority of the sweeteners are multiple times sweeter than the conventional sugar; for instance, certain natural sweeteners are 250–300 times sweeter. Owing to this, only smaller amounts of these sweeteners are required or utilized in order to provide a similar level of sweetness.
Certain sweeteners are low in calories, and some have no calories. Sorbitol is a low-calorie sugar known as a polyol or sugar alcohol. Naturally, it is not metabolized by bacteria in the mouth, so it does not contribute to tooth decay. Sorbitol is safe to use, and its safety has been confirmed by global health authorities. Also, its various functional properties such as helping in maintaining shelf life, appearance, the texture of foods, offering medicinal qualities, and helping in retaining moisture, among others, are among the key factors leading to its dominance in the global market.
The natural sweeteners market, on the basis of end-use sector, is dominated by the food & beverage segment in 2019. Apart from the growing demand from end consumers resulting in a shift among manufacturers for the choice of their ingredients in the food & beverage sector, factors such as fluctuating prices and supply of sugars further drive the demand. Food & beverage industry players require a frequent supply of sugars, at constant price points, to further process and manufacture their line of products.
However, the supply and price of sugars have been witnessing fluctuations, owing to which manufacturers willingly opt for sugar alternatives to provide similar sweetness and flavoring to products. Also, the rising costs of various other ingredients in the food & beverage sector result in manufacturers to shift toward cheaper alternatives, providing similar characteristics, in further processing. Also, food & beverage sector is prone to disruptive changes and trends and is completely consumer-driven.
With the growing prevalence and incidences of diabetes and obesity globally, consumers have become more cautious about the ingredients included in food & beverage products. This has further led manufacturers in the food & beverage industry to adopt natural sweeteners in their line of products.
Leading companies are DuPont (US), ADM (US), Tate & Lyle PLC (UK), Cargill (US), Ingredion Incorporated (US), Roquette Frčres (France), FoodChem International Corporation (China), PureCircle Ltd (US), MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc (Merisant) (US), Ecogreen Oleochemicals Pvt Ltd (Indonesia), Pyure Brands LLC (US), Stevia Hub India (India), Suminter India Organics (India), Stevia Biotech Pvt Ltd (India), The Real Stevia Company (Sweden), Sweetly Stevia USA (UK), XiliNat (Mexico), Fooditive B.V. (Netherlands), Saganŕ Association (Switzerland), and Hearthside Food Solutions LLC (US).
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