FRANCE – Global leader in plant-based ingredients Roquette is boosting its liquid and powder polyols production capabilities with a US$25 million (US$27.5 million) in its site in Lestrem, France.
The investment which will be completed by 2021 is intended to facilitate a reliable supply of polyols for its clients globally.
Polyols are produced from plant-based raw materials such as maize or wheat and are primarily used as sugar alternatives in food products.
Examples of polyols include sorbitol, mannitol or xylitol. They are found naturally in some fruits or vegetables in significant quantities.
They are majorly used in sugar-reduced or sugar-free confectionery, chocolate, chewing gum, baked goods or snacks.
Driven by the fast-increasing trend for healthier and sustainable food and lifestyle, the demand for nutritional solutions is increasing significantly.
Sugar reduction is on top of nutritional reformulation as governments tighten laws on sugary drinks and consumer preference shifts to low sugar products.
According to Grand View Research, the global sugar-free confectionery market size was valued at US$1.88 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% from 2020 to 2027.
The market research firm attributes the growth to the widespread impression that the sugar-free version is healthier than its conventional counterparts.
Due to demand, the global sugar free chewing gum sale surpassed 400 million Kg in 2016 and today holds more than 50% of the global gum market owing to tooth decay reduction.
This shift to low-sugar formulation clearly creates unprecedented demand for sugar-free alternatives which Roquette will be better positioned to offer thanks to an expanded manufacturing capacity.
“Thanks to Roquette’s polyols, it is possible to formulate creative sugar-free confectioneries, from tablets to chewing gums,” said Pascal Leroy, VP, Core Ingredients, Roquette
“Polyols are principally used as sugar replacers in food products, a major advantage over intense sweeteners being their bulking property.”
Polyols are also key excipients for the pharmaceutical sector. Directly compressible, polyols help the formulation of all kinds of tablets.
Some of the polyol based tablets are adapted for swallowable, chewable, dispersible or effervescent tablets.
The higher purity grades are also Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API)-approved by worldwide drug administrations, and widely used in injectable solutions or in dialysis applications.
The investment will improve equipment efficiency and increase safety standards in addition to helping standardize some industrial operations contributing to an overall production performance improvement.
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