The sorbitol market is projected to attain around USD 3.9 billion by 2020. It commanded a demand of 1, 829.6 kilotons (KT) in 2013. The market will touch a total of about 2, 337.2 KT by 2020, at 3.6% CAGR from 2014 to 2020 (forecast phase). Health awareness regarding sorbitol would drive market demand in the same phase. But the market faces challenges from irregular raw material delivery and ensuing price fluctuations.
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol readily present in certain fruits. It can be synthetically prepared from glucose and made available in crystal & liquid forms. It is a sugar substitute in personal care products like mouthwash, toothpaste, & gels. Sorbitol also caters to applications across the industries of food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and cosmetics.
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Liquid sorbitol is made by processing dextrose, while crystal one is obtained by spray drying liquid sorbitol. Liquid sorbitol led the sorbitol market in 2013 in terms of demand. It accounted for a demand of 1,524.7 KT that year. Crystal sorbitol can register a growth rate of 2.9% till 2020.
Vitamin C production, oral care products, as surfactants, and diabetic & dietetic food & beverages are the market applications. Vitamin C production should grow slowly on account of the overproduction of the vitamin. Since sorbitol is metabolized at a slower rate, it is a popular choice for toothpastes & oral care products. Toothpaste, one of the oral products, would grow at 4% CAGR over the forecast phase. This will be attributed to it preventing tooth decay. Sorbitol is also used as surfactants in the form of wetting agents, emulsifiers, detergents, and dispersants.
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End-users of the sorbitol market are food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and personal care & cosmetics. Personal care & cosmetics was the largest segment, accounting for over 600 KT demand in 2013. It can experience around 3.8% CAGR in the next six years. Sorbitol was employed as a low-calorie sweetener in food, accounting for more than 537 KT in 2013.
Asia Pacific led the market in 2013, China being the largest vitamin C producer presently. The region earned USD 656.9 million in 2013. It should experience 4.1% CAGR during 2014 to 2020. Europe and North America are major regions due to their investments in food & beverages and personal care industries.
Notable players of the worldwide sorbitol market comprise Archer Daniel Midlands (ADM), Sigma-Aldrich, Cargill Incorporated, Merck, and American International Foods.
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