Fat replacers to spiral in US dairy and meat sectors

| 29/04/2008 | Reply

Fat replacers to spiral in US dairy and meat sectors

By Laura Crowley


4/24/2008-

Demand
for fat replacers is set to increase as health trends continue, with
particular growth experienced in the meat and dairy sector, according
to a new report.

The
market for fat replacers will reach 280,100 metric tons, with a
compound annual growth rate of 6.03 percent predicted between 2011 and
2015, says the “Fat Replacers: A US Market Report” by Global Industry Analysts (GIA).

While
considerable growth is forecast in the meat and dairy sector, as
low-calorie and reduced-fat foods gain in popularity, fat-based fat
replacers are expected to see a decline because of health concerns
related to olestra, a top-selling fat-based fat replacer, says the
report.

According to the analysts: “Fat replacers industry
is expected to expand further from the development of several new
formulation systems and likely health benefits of fat replacers.

“[The]
protein-based fat replacers market is anticipated to take some of the
thunder of [the] carbohydrate-based fat replacers market over the
coming years, as the demand is increasing for low-fat foods with high
nutritional content and low calories.”

Although
health trends, ageing populations and changes in eating habits are
predicted by the analysts to be the prime drivers for market growth,
the industry is facing many challenges.

A decelerating of
general economics, competitive pressures, reduced margins and
increasing competition from emerging markets are expected to pose
difficulties for the sector.

Fat replacer demand

Over
300m adults are obese worldwide, representing a three-fold increase
since the 1980s, according to latest statistics from the WHO and the
International Obesity Task Force.

As national governments get
increasingly involved in health initiatives and consumers become more
and more aware of the importance of healthy eating, food manufacturers
are responding by reducing fat in their products, as well as reforming
in other ways, such as cutting salt and sugar contents.

Fat replacers can either be carbohydrate-based (starch-based or hydrocolloid-based), protein-based or fat-based.

The
market for protein-based fat replacers is expected to reach $195.51m by
2012, and volume sales of carbohydrate-based ones are forecast to reach
222,080 metric tons by 2015, according to GIA.

Industry fat replacer launches

At
the end of 2006, hydrocolloid firm Gum Technology introduced a new fat
replacer, designed specifically to interact with the milk proteins
present in dairy goods to cut fat by up to 10 percent in milk-based
products.

An extension to the company’s Coyote Brand
Stabilizer line, the dairy fat replacer contained cellulose gel
(microcrystalline cellulose), konjac, sodium alginate, and xanthan, as
well as soluble and insoluble fibre.

 The gum blend could be
used at different concentrations in order to work in a variety of dairy
applications. In low concentrations it is suitable for products such as
milkshakes. In higher concentrations it could be used for mousse,
whipped cream, custards and creamy sauces.

The same year,
Cargill developed an ingredient to help food manufacturers replace the
pork fat used in many meat products with restructured vegetable fat.

The
solution, called Adrogel GR, was claimed to be ideal for use as a Halal
alternative to pork meat-based ingredients, and aimed to tap the market
potential of 1.5 bn Muslims worldwide.

The previous year, FiberGel Technologies launched its oat Z-Trim and soy Z-Trim fat replacer in Ameica.

Z-Trim,
according to the manufacturers, was a natural, zero calorie fat
replacement that reduces calories and increases healthy insoluble fiber
in a variety of products without altering the food’s original taste.

Category: Ingredients, The Americas

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