The global sterols market was valued at US$ 750.09 Mn in 2017 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 7.9% from 2018 to 2026, according to a new research report titled ‘Sterols Market: Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2018–2026’ published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) Rise in the demand for sterols among cardiovascular disease patients is driving the global sterols market. Asia Pacific accounts for a major share of the global sterols market, led by increase in usage of sterols in food and nutraceuticals industries in the region. 

sterols market

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Increasing demand for sterols among cardiovascular disease patients

Rising rate of incidence of cardiovascular diseases is a growing concern across the globe. Rise in health awareness leads to increasing interest in food, beverage and dietary supplement solutions that can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) is the top killer in Europe. Almost 50% of all deaths in Europe every year (i.e. four million deaths) are caused by cardiovascular diseases. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases were responsible for 45% of deaths in China in 2012. Considering the country’s rapidly aging population, the percentage is expected to increase by 50% by 2030. Currently, approximately 100 million adults in the U.S., which is nearly 50% of the country’s adult population, have levels of cholesterol higher than the desirable.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), even a small reduction in the blood cholesterol level can make a great difference to the risk of developing heart diseases. Phytosterols are proved to lower the cholesterol level by 7%–10% in 2–3 weeks when used daily with meals. The U.S. FDA-approved health claim states that 1.3 grams of plant sterols per day as part of a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol can reduce the risk of developing heart diseases. Thus, usage of phytosterols in the diet helps in reduction of the cholesterol level among patients with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). 

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Rising demand from the food sector

Demand for a variety of foods is rising across the world. In addition, growing population, changing food preferences, and rising purchasing capacity are some of the important factors anticipated to drive the global food sector in the next few years. Easy availability of these products in convenience stores and supermarkets is another key factor driving the sector. Phytosterols are primarily used in dietary supplements and foods, such as liquid and oil-based supplements, as well as in shots and soft-gelatin capsules, instant powders, and chewable, swallow-able and effervescent supplements. Phytosterols are also used in milk, juices, desserts, yogurt, cake-filling creams, ice creams, and mousses. Phytosterols are also employed in baked goods, biscuits, cookies, cakes, and yeast-raised baked goods. Enrichment of foods such as margarine, cheese, butter, yogurt, condensed milk, and cream with phytosterol esters has been an important development in functional foods to enhance the cholesterol-lowering ability of traditional food products. Thus, rise in the demand for various types of foods such as bakery products, dairy products, supplements, and beverages is augmenting the demand for phytosterols. 

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Fluctuating prices of raw materials

Production of phytosterols is solely dependent on supply of raw materials such as vegetable oils and tall oils. Vegetable oils include corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and rapeseed oil. Production of these oils is completely dependent on seasonal variations. Vegetable oil prices fluctuate due to poor climatic conditions in several parts of the world. Numerous countries across the world witness droughts, which affects the production of oilseeds. This, in turn, results in volatility in prices of vegetable oils. Seasonal variation affects output due to uneven and critical rainfall patterns in springs. Reduction in the rainfall over the last few years has resulted in significant uncertainty in agricultural yields in several countries, with variations in input as well as output prices. Also, increase in the cost of agricultural produce as well as storage and transport results in high prices of vegetable oils and tall oils. Thus, raw material prices fluctuate depending on the climate, which hampers the demand for phytosterols. 

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High degree of competition among established players

Key players profiled in the report on the global sterols market include BASF SE, Cargill Incorporated, The Archer Daniels Midland Company, Raisio Plc., Arboris LLC, ConnOils LLC, Vitae Caps S.A., Lipofoods SLU (Lubrizol Company), Xi’an Healthful Biotechnology Co., Ltd., Matrix Fine Sciences Pvt. Ltd., Fairchem Specialty Limited, and Advanced Organic Materials, S.A. 

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