Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) belong to the prebiotics group and has been used as a sweetener over the past few years primarily in the food & beverage industry. The product improves mineral absorption and decreases levels of serum cholesterol, triacylglycerols and phospholipids and helps stimulate growth of nonpathogenic intestinal micro flora. The FDA and EU consider the product as GRAS and have approved its use in infant formulations in specified quantities.
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Increasing consumer awareness towards growing incidences of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, gut diseases, and rickets is expected to propel product demand over the next seven years. In addition, rising consumption of functional foods particularly in Europe and North America is expected to increase product demand over the next seven years.
Japan and numerous European countries including France and Belgium dominate the FOS market. Growing product demand in emerging markets such as China and India is expected to augment industry growth over the next seven years. Development of synbiotics combining FOS with targeted probiotic strains coupled with introduction of new products such as drinking yogurts, low fat reduction creams, chocolates and bakery products are expected to be key drivers for the industry over the forecast period.
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The product is expected to substitute numerous sweeteners in the food & beverage industry including aspartame, sucralose and xylitol on account of their superior properties and cost effectiveness. In addition, the product is considered less harmful when added to various products as compared to the other sweeteners. Over the past few years, the School of Food Science and Technology based in China has been conducting R&D to introduce new cost effective manufacturing routes and applications which are expected to open new market avenues product over the next seven years.
The use of immobilized enzymes and cells has been proposed as an effective and economic method for large-scale manufacturing of the product. In addition, numerous methods such as solid-state fermentations that utilize various agro-industrial by-products have been used for the manufacturing of the product. Novel production techniques using recombinant enzymes, highly efficient purification systems, enzyme engineering and new substrates are being explored to increase cost-effectiveness. This is expected to increase market penetration of the product over the forecast period.
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