Sterol ester is created when sterol and a fatty acid are synthesised (esterification). Sterol Esters is the heterogeneous chemical compound that can be found in small amount almost in every cell type. Plant sterol is called phytosterols which is a collective term for plant-derived sterols and stanols that are found in the fatty tissues of plants. When plant sterol is esterified with fatty acids then it is called as plant sterol ester. The proportion of the phytosterol strength is approximately 60 percent by weight of the ester and that of the fatty acid tail approximately 40 percent by weight. Commercially, Phytosterols are colleted from vegetable oils, for instance sunflower oil, soybean oil, and oilseed rape. The phytosterols and phytostanols is esterified with fatty acids from vegetable oils by two different ways that are trans-esterification using fatty acid methylesters and direct esterification using free fatty acid. For methylester process, the very first step is preparation of fatty acid methyl esters and then inter-esterification of the fatty acid methyl esters and the phytosterols/phytostanols is done. For Free fatty acid route process, preparation of free fatty acids is done and then esterification of free fatty acids and phytosterols/phytostanols is done. Plant sterol ester is used in food industry owing to its various benefits, for instance it helps to reduce blood cholesterol level. Also it is good for cancer patients since studies says that it has potential to protects against the development of cancer including breast, stomach and lung cancer. Plant sterol ester consist of antioxidants which is good for skin and works as anti-aging for skin, hence it is also used in cosmetics and personal care industry.
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It is generally accepted ingredients in food and beverage manufacturer since there is no regulatory barriers for plant sterol ester. It is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) as per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Also, as per the European Union Scientific Committee plant sterol ester margarines and dairy products are safe for human consumption.
On the basis of application plant sterol esters market is segmented into food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industry. Food industry holds the highest market share in terms of both value and volume, accounting more than fifty percent of the market share in terms of volume.
Geographically plant sterol esters market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia Pacific excluding Japan, Japan and Middle East & Africa. Western Europe and North America are the dominating regions for plant sterol esters market in terms of both value and volume.
Plant sterol ester is considered as one of the ten greatest discoveries in nutrition around the world. Plat sterol ester market is growing at a significant rate owing to its nutritional benefits. Demand for plant sterol ester in food industry is the main growth driver where food supplement contributes noteworthy growth to the market. Moreover, cardiovascular diseases are another driver for growth of the plant sterol ester market. There is no notably restraints for the plant sterol ester market, however, there is some limitation regarding intact of plant sterol ester, for instance generally, it is used 1.25gms per 125ml of yogurts, or 5gms per litter of milk.
There is a significant opportunity in the emerging economies including China, Brazil, Mexico, India, Malaysia, South Africa, and GCC countries in order to increase the market share of plant sterol ester market in terms of value.
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Some of the key players identified in the plant sterol ester market are Raisio Plc., Archer Daniels Midland Co., Cargill Inc., BASF SE, Bunge Limited, Fenchem Enterprises Ltd.