Xylose – A Sweet Solution to Achieve Sugar Reduction
Xylose is one of the most versatile sugars with a wide range of applications as an ingredient in diverse food products to enhance their palatability and organoleptic properties. A paradigm shift in the consumer preference for healthier and natural products has significantly fueled the traction for xylose, particularly in the thriving food and beverage industry, over the recent years. The surging food and beverage industry, coupled with increasing consumer health consciousness, has been pacing up the sales of natural food ingredients, such as plant-derived xylose. This is further indicating a subtle boom in the growth of the xylose market, wherein, companies are exploring product applications in broader industries to gain a stronger hold in the industry.
Xylose Market - The Evolution Map
Xylose was first isolated from woods such as birch in 1881, and has been among the rarer sugars due to its difficult and high-cost preparation. However, in 1930, the United States Bureau of Standards, in a cooperative investigation, found a simple xylose preparation method from cottonseed hull bran, which is a very cheap raw material. This made xylose a sugar obtainable at a price comparable to that of sucrose.
Xylose is now widely found in a large span of woody materials, including straw, corncobs, and pecan shells, and is also known to be found in berries, broccoli, and spinach. Over the years, the use of xylose has grown significantly in food & beverages and pharmaceuticals, to name a few. As per TMR’s analysis, the traction for xylose has grown at a steady pace, with its market anticipated to be valued at ~ US$ 1.5 Bn in 2018. The TMR study indicates a ~ 6% Y-o-Y growth of the xylose market in 2019 over 2018.
Impact of Undercurrents on the Xylose Market
Quest for Sugar Alternatives to Help Fight Diabetes, Uplifting Sales
Growing incidences of type-2 diabetes have led to a notable shift in consumer preference for diabetic sweeteners over conventional sugar, which, in turn, has opened a window of opportunities for market players. Diabetic sweeteners such as xylose aid in maintaining low glycemic index and cholesterol levels, and prevent heart diseases. While white sugar can increase insulin levels in the body, xylitol, a derivative of xylose, has garnered traction as a crystalline aldose sugar that doesn’t impact the same way, and is witnessing wide adoption as a sweetener for tea and coffee.
Natural Approach to Cavity Prevention – A Fast-Growing Trend
Dental hygiene products have emerged as a hotbed of opportunities for xylose manufacturers, in line with the shifting focus of companies towards leveraging natural ingredients in products to appeal a wide pool of health-conscious consumers. Increasing awareness about xylitol’s role in inhibiting the growth of plaque-forming bacteria by preventing tooth decay and oral cavities is creating fresh growth avenues for market players. The adoption of D-xylose-derived xylitol in dental health products is growing substantially, in line with its promising role in preventing the demineralization of enamel and stimulating salivary flow. The growing contribution of xylitol in improving oral health, and curing gum, teeth, and mouth issues, is bolstering its usage in products that combat tooth decay, including mouthwash, toothpaste, and even sugar-free gum.
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Adoption in Pet Food Upholding Growth
The sales of pet food are growing year-on-year, with pet owners increasingly spending more on their furry family members. Given the fact that pets are often considered as an equal part of the family, consumers have started making similar choices for pet food and animal feed as they do for themselves. This has further led to an increased traction for food with natural, ethically-derived ingredients that come with free-from claims and boast of high nutritional profile. For that matter, xylose is witnessing increased traction as palatability enhancers in altering pet food formats. Although the adoption opportunities for xylose are increasing in the animal feed segment, it is pertinent to note that, there are several concerns around the toxicity and health impact of xylose on some animals. However, there is no substantial scientific literature to prove this impact.