New Water-Dispersible Phytosterol Delivery System Expands Food, Beverage Use

May 31, 2017

Lipophytol is a new, highly concentrated phytosterol ingredient with increased water solubility.

Many phytosterol ingredients are typically insoluble in water, presenting a challenge for companies hoping to incorporate them into food and beverage formulations, but a new, water-dispersible phytosterol ingredient makes it easier for food and beverage manufacturers to formulate with phytosterols. Microencapsulation technologies manufacturer Lipofoods SLU (Barcelona, Spain) launched its palm-free, phytosterol delivery system Lipophytol, a new, microencapsulated powder that increases phytosterol water solubility and enables consumers to more easily incorporate phytosterols into their diets and meet the recommended daily dosage of plant sterols. The company introduced Lipophytol at the Vitafoods trade show in Geneva, Switzerland, in May.

In addition to being water dispersible, Lipophytol is highly concentrated. According to Lipofoods, it contains up to 90% plant sterols compared to sterol esters, which typically contain 60% plant sterols. Because Lipophytol is more concentrated, the company says that less is required to achieve the same cholesterol-reducing results. Another benefit of Lipophytol is that the ingredient is not derived from palm oil, due to ecological concerns over palm oil cultivation.

Isabel Gomez, marketing manager for Lipofoods, said in a press release: “Lipophytol provides an innovative delivery system with a demonstrated ability to increase phytosterol solubility in food and beverage matrices. It enables the easy incorporation of phytosterols into a range of food and beverage products. Processors can avoid preparing the emulsion and thus can improve the manufacturing processes in terms of time and costs.”

Also, she advised, “Sterol esters have to be emulsified, so manufacturers should increase the temperature of the formulations in order to add sterol esters appropriately.”

Phytosterols-or plant-based steroid compounds similar in structure and functionality to cholesterol-have been shown to help lower total serum cholesterol, in turn benefitting cardiovascular health. The fast-growing phytosterols market is estimated to reach $989 million by the year 2020, with a growth rate of 7.2% per year, according to market researcher Grand View Research Inc. (San Francisco, CA).