Asia-Pacific drives big growth in GOS prebiotics

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Friesland Campina's Sarah Staley said the number of GOS-related new products soared from an estimated 100 in 2005 to 1,300 last year
Friesland Campina's Sarah Staley said the number of GOS-related new products soared from an estimated 100 in 2005 to 1,300 last year
Rapid growth in prebiotic galactooligosaccharides (GOS) has been driven by the expanding middle class in the Asia-Pacific region, according to Sarah Staley, vice president, business development at Friesland Campina

New product development (NPD) in products containing GOS rocketed from 2005-2011, Staley told the Pre- and Probiotics 2012 virtual conference organised by FoodManufacture.co.uk’s sister website Nutraingredients.com.

Quoting Mintel’s Global New Product Database figures, Staley said the number of GOS-related new products soared from an estimated 100 in 2005 to 1,300 last year. That growth represented more than double that of the general prebiotic market, which from a similar 2005 base, had yielded 535 new products last year.

“The number of total launches in prebiotic products was five times higher in 2011 than in 2005,”​ said Staley. “The major booster in that growth was products containing GOS. On average every three days a new product with GOS was launched in the world.”

Regions and markets

Asia-Pacific was by far the most active region for GOS, yielding 57% of new products, versus 38% in the EU and 5% elsewhere, she added. NPD was driven by new companies as well as existing players. Factors driving this growth included: the growing middle class with increased disposable income to spend on prebiotic products and the rising age of the population combined with rising health costs.

Another factor was the growth in awareness of the health benefits of prebiotics.

Danone had introduced GOS to Asian markets in infant formulas in 2003. By 2011, GOS recipes were being introduced into a host of product categories, ranging from drinking yogurts and flavoured milks to energy drinks, confectionery and snack bars.

Health benefits

Referring to the benefits of GOS, Staley said: “10 studies show increased mineral absorption through GOS.” ​A US study of adolescent girls at Purdue University, Indiana, the manuscript for which had yet to be submitted at the time of Staley’s presentation, suggested GOS positively affected mineral absorption, she said.

Compared to fructooligosaccharides (FOS), GOS had a higher bifidogenic effect and more closely promoted the composition of gut flora present in the infant gut, she added.

GOS was versatile and could be used in a range of categories, from dry and bakery products to juice and clear beverages, said Staley. Vivinal GOS, dairy ingredients firm FrieslandCampina’s prebiotic brand, could promote the growth of so-called friendly (bifido) bacteria, as well as promoting satiety (a feeling of fullness) and healthy gut function, she claimed.

Related topics: Dairy-based ingredients

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