New plant sterols boost heart health food claims

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Health benefits: phytosterols can help decrease cholesterol uptake and lower cholesterol in the blood
Health benefits: phytosterols can help decrease cholesterol uptake and lower cholesterol in the blood

Related tags: Sterol

A highly concentrated, water-dispersible source of plant sterols, designed to support cardiovascular health, was unveiled at nutrition show Vitafoods Europe last month.

Lipophytol is a 90% concentration of phytosterols, steroid compounds said to compete with cholesterol when absorbed into the digestive system.

By doing so, they can help decrease cholesterol uptake and lower cholesterol in the blood – two health claims that have been approved by European Food Safety Authority.

Their water insolubility, however, have made food and beverage formulations difficult.

Innovative delivery system

Available as a fine powder, Lipophytol has an innovative delivery system with a “demonstrated ability to increase phytosterol solubility in food and beverage matrices”​, said Isabel Gomez, marketing manager for maker Lipofoods.

“It enables the easy incorporation of phytosterols into a range of food and beverage products,”​ she added.

Unlike sterol esters, plant sterols don’t have to be emulsified, therefore improving the manufacturing time and cost, Gomez explains.

‘Just pour and mix’

“Just pour and mix it into the food application,”​ she said. “If sterol esters are added, increase the temperature of the formulations appropriately.”

The global phytosterols market is estimated to reach almost $990M (£692M) by 2020, growing at an expected compound annual growth rate of 7.2%, according to US-based analyst Grand View Research.

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