The global sugar alcohol market was valued at USD 3.40 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 5.74 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.0% during the forecast period (2022–2030). Due to its purity, sugar alcohol is deemed safe for human ingestion (lack of additives). The alcohol's purity, concentration, and grade depend on its intended usage. It is derived from various plants, including sugarcane, sugar beet, molasses, cereals, and fruits. Sugar alcohol is neither a sugar nor an alcoholic beverage, but white, water-soluble solids that exist naturally or are manufactured from sugars. Due to their sweetening and texturizing qualities, sugar alcohols have many industrial applications. The global market for sugar alcohol is assessed based on its prospects and growth rate. The report also focuses on market trends and future growth prospects of various sugar alcohol kinds, forms, and applications.
The implementation of low-sugar, sugar-free, and low-calorie diets has enabled the reduction of obesity and diabetes. In addition, as the obesity and diabetes epidemics have increased, so has the demand for sugar alcohols as low-calorie sweeteners. Increased consumer consumption of nutraceuticals as functional meals, dietary supplements, and functional beverages drives the expansion of the sugar alcohol market. Polyols are utilized in various pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products due to their coating, sweetening, emollient, bulking, anti-crystallizing, and stabilizing qualities. Polyols are utilized in various pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products due to their coating, sweetening, emollient, bulking, anti-crystallizing, and stabilizing qualities.
Additionally, sugar alcohols mix synergistically with other low-calorie sweeteners to produce a balanced sweetness comparable to sugars. Due to these distinctive qualities, polyols are utilized in various food applications. However, high production costs relative to sugar are expected to impede the expansion of the sugar alcohol market.
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Increasing Demand for Polyols in the Food Industry to Support Market Growth
Polyols have become increasingly recognized in commercial culinary applications as the most nutritious sugar replacement in foods such as chocolate, desserts, spreads, bakery items, and non-alcoholic beverages. In addition, they are utilized extensively for emulsifying, acting as bulking agents, enhancing flavor and crystallization, and acting as stabilizing agents. Polyols have a variety of desirable functional and organoleptic properties, making them an excellent choice for use in a wide variety of culinary applications. Manufacturers are increasingly incorporating them in their food formulations because they allow traditional sugar to be replaced without altering the completed product's sensory features (flavor, color, and texture).
For this reason, polyols are an excellent choice for traditional recipes that call for reduced sugar or sugar-free alternatives. Polyols have a sweetness comparable to that of sugar and a similar sweetness profile; as a result, polyols can be utilized to replace sugar as a source of bulk sweetness. In addition, since the prevalence of chronic diseases among people worldwide continues to climb, there has been significant growth in the market for foods and beverages that are low in calories and do not include added sugar. The market for sugar alcohol is therefore expected to be driven by meals that are low in calories and contain polyols.
Rising Incidence of Obesity and Diabetes to Bolster Market Growth
Sugar is widely acknowledged as the primary factor contributing to the alarmingly high rates of obesity and diabetes. According to a poll by Credit Suisse Equity Research, 86% of medical professionals believe that obesity is linked to excessive sugar consumption. As a result, consumers have developed a heightened awareness regarding the amount of sugar they consume and gravitate toward goods with a high nutritional value. According to research by Hudson Institute, Inc., reduced-calorie food products were to blame for 82 percent of the growth in recent years in sales among the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation's member companies, including Kraft Foods and Nestle U.S. The epidemic of obesity and diabetes has consequently pushed changes in lifestyle choices made by the population and increased knowledge of consumer food goods. The vast majority of people worldwide are dramatically increasing their consumption of foods low in calories. It is projected that these factors will drive the expansion of the market.
Rising Demand for Polyols in Pharmaceutical Applications to Positively Share Industry Outlook
Sugar alcohols are extremely important to the overall composition of pharmaceutical formulations, serving both as an active agent and an excipient. Polyols have a long history of being used as active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for treating constipation. However, in modern medicine, the primary reason for using polyols is the reduction of edema in the brain and acute kidney failure. Polyols are widely utilized in current formulations such as consumer-friendly lozenges and chewable tablets, where they serve the function of an excipient.
In addition, the fact that polyol sweeteners that are liquid or syrup-based have a high solubility in water makes them an excellent choice as a raw material for the production of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical formulations. The pharmaceutical industry has seen a rise in demand for polyols due to the use of maltitol solutions in syrups to create sugar-free medications, crystalline maltitol powder to create a hard coating to replace sucrose, or as a diluent in tablets, sachets, capsules, and several other oral dosage forms. This demand has also contributed to the growth of the polyols market.
High Manufacturing Cost to Hinder Market Growth
Most sugar alcohols are manufactured in factories by catalytic hydrogenation, subjecting sugars to high pressure and temperature. However, the present chemical procedures include harsh conditions and time-consuming and expensive chromatographic purification steps, which results in a low yield of the finished product. Due to these drawbacks, numerous research projects are being conducted to create more affordable processes for producing these high-value products. The end goal of these projects is to benefit both consumers and the industry.
The manufacture of sugar alcohols using biotechnology is one of the steps that has been created toward advancement due to the current study. Processes that are safer and better for the environment can be achieved through biotechnological production based on microbial fermentation. However, not all fermentative techniques are suitable for manufacturing on an industrial scale due to several difficulties, including high production and purifying costs and low productivity.
Therefore, it is essential to diversify value-added chemicals derived from sugar alcohols, increase the applicability of cheap substrates like cellulosic hydrolysates, and create effective bioconversion processes to create higher-value derivatives of sugar alcohols in order to make biotechnological processes for sugar alcohol more competitive and economically viable. These three steps are necessary to achieve the goals mentioned above. As a result, one can anticipate that the high manufacturing costs of sugar alcohols in comparison to sugar will impede the expansion of the market.
Increasing Investments in Research and Development to Spur Market Opportunities
Asia-Pacific consumers are spending more money on food and nutraceutical products, which complement the healthy lifestyles they have chosen to lead. In addition, increases in discretionary income, consumer spending, and awareness of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle drive demand for food products low in calories and sugar in this region. As a result, using sugar substitutes such as sugar alcohols might garner significant notice. Manufacturers of polyols can look at this as a chance to expand their business and maintain their position in the market for sugar alcohol.
In the sugar alcohol business, manufacturers consistently invest in research and development (R&D) to extend their product portfolios and position in the market. Similarly, Ingredion EMEA announced its first polyol sweetener, ERYSTA, in April of 2020. This product enables producers to reduce or replace sugar to meet nutrition-related claims in multiple applications, such as 'no added sugar' or 'calorie-reduced.' It is projected that there will be a significant expansion in the market sector in the foreseeable future due to the development of a growing array of sugar alcohol manufacturers.
The global sugar alcohol market is segmented by type, form, and application.
Based on type, the global sugar alcohol market is divided into mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, maltitol, isomalt, and others (polyols).
The sorbitol sector contributes the most to the global sugar alcohol market, growing at a CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period. Sorbitol is sugar alcohol called sugar substitutes, bulk sweeteners, or sugar-free sweeteners in berries and other fruits. In the mid-1950s, sorbitol was mass-produced for use in cosmetology and non-cariogenic candy. Enzymatic hydrolysis and catalytic hydrogenation of glucose syrups and dextrose from maize, wheat, and tapioca starches produce sorbitol.
Low caloric and glycemic value make it suitable for diet meals and drinks, including ice cream, sugar-free gum, and mints. Sorbitol is a bulking agent and flavor masker in pharmaceuticals. The mannitol category is expected to expand the most. Xylitol is a tooth-safe sugar alcohol with better dental health benefits than other polyalcohols. It can be produced using berries, oats, mushrooms, maize husks, and sugar cane bagasse. It is made from corncobs or hardwood xylan hydrolyzed into xylose and hydrogenated catalytically. It is nearly as sweet as sucrose, has a cooling effect, and is thus used in desserts, gelatin, gum, jams, and ice cream.
Based on form, the global sugar alcohol market is divided into powder and crystal, liquid and syrup.
Powder and crystal contributed the most to the global sugar alcohol market and are expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period. Powdered sugar alcohols are easier to use and handle than liquid equivalents; thus, several industries use them. The liquid and syrup segment is expected to expand the most. Liquid and syrup sugar alcohols replace dry sweeteners in beverages and hot drinks. Liquid sugar alcohols are the preferred alternative, especially for beverages. Manufacturers' development of sugar alcohols has generated a market opportunity for liquid and syrup sugar alcohols. Liquid sugar alcohols have health benefits that boost the nutritional value of finished products. In gelatin capsules and liquid dosing, liquid sorbitol is a plasticizer and anti-crystallizing agent. The liquid sugar alcohol market benefits from customer knowledge of novel food and beverage items.
Based on application, the global sugar alcohol market is divided into food and drinks, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and personal care.
Food and beverages own the highest market share and are expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period. Food manufacturers use sugar alcohols extensively due to their functional and organoleptic qualities; they're perfect for reduced-sugar, sugar-free, or no-sugar goods. Recent technology developments have boosted the usage of sugar alcohols in diet and health-oriented meals. Moisture, flavor, and sweetness are regulated in sugar alcohols, so they are popular in baking products. The pharmaceuticals segment is expected to increase the most. They include coatings for oral dosage forms, fillers, binders, plasticizers for soft capsules, and bulk sweeteners for medicated confectionery. For use in pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, sugar alcohols have been produced by Roquette Frères, Grain Processing Corporation, and Cargill Inc. Preservatives and solvents are used in several over-the-counter and daily medicines.
The global sugar alcohol market is segmented into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
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Europe dominates the global sugar alcohol market and is expected to reach USD 2.03 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period. European countries have a larger pharmaceutical industry share. This drives the usage of sugar alcohols to make tablets, pills, syrups, and soft gels. Demand for natural ingredients in the fast-growing personal care industry drives the sugar alcohol market. Sugar alcohols are in high demand as an ingredient in low-calorie confections and baked products.
North America is one of the most obese and unhealthy regions due to poor diet and sugar consumption. As consumer eating habits shift in favor of low-calorie foods, health concerns increase, and an emphasis is placed on sugar-free and low-calorie products. Producers developed low-calorie yogurts, smoothies, and soft drinks to fill this need.
Asia-Pacific is predicted to experience the fastest growth in the sugar alcohol market because of rising purchasing power parity, a demand for sugar-free and sugar-reduced pharmaceuticals, and dietary supplements. Customers prefer products made with sugar alcohol because they want ingredients from sustainable sources and high-quality manufacturing.