Phytosterols are a group of natural fatty substances found in all plant cell membranes. They resemble cholesterol in their structure and hence when consumed, compete with the cholesterol for absorption in digestive systems. As a result, the absorption of cholesterol is blocked and the level of blood cholesterol is reduced. Phytosterols can be found in varying concentrations in fat-soluble fractions of seed, root, stem, branches, leaves, and flowers; however, their concentration is the highest in edible oils, seeds, and nuts.
Key industry players invest extensively in R&D initiatives to expand their product portfolios. Continuous investments in new product development, launches, and acquisitions have expanded the scope of the industry. The addition of functional ingredients has further added value to products. Key players in the industry introduce functional ingredients to add health benefits to products, which has resulted in the introduction of a new market for functional products.
Europe holds the largest share of the global phytosterols market. In the forthcoming years, the market is projected to grow the fastest in the European region, making it the fastest revenue-generating pocket.
Phytosterols have been used extensively in food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics due to their high-nutritional properties. In the recent past, the market for phytosterols has undergone tremendous changes. The phytosterols market is growing rapidly due to its health benefits confirmed by a large number of scientific studies. Among all existing phytosterols, beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol are considered as the most relevance ones in economic terms.
The global market is marked with intense competition due to the presence of a large number of big and small firms. New product developments, mergers & acquisitions, and expansions are the key strategies adopted by market players to ensure growth in the market. The market is dominated by players such as the Bunge Limited (U.S.), BASF SE (Germany), Pharmachem Laboratories Inc. (U.S.), DuPont (U.S.), and Raisio Plc. (Finland). In this report, the global phytosterols market is segmented on the basis of type, application, and region. The global phytosterols market was estimated at $438.45 million in 2014 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.7% from 2015 to 2020.