Beverages dominate erythritol market but oral health gums and confectionery should increase, says Cargill

By Stephen DANIELLS

- Last updated on GMT

Beverages dominate erythritol market but oral health gums and confectionery should increase, says Cargill
As the dental benefits of erythritol become more widely known, gum and confectionery products positioned for oral health are set to increase, says Cargill, but they have a long way to go to compete with beverages as the main use.

Tooth friendly, zero calorie (0.2cals/g), good for diabetics (it doesn’t raise blood sugar), and well-tolerated in the gut, erythritol is about 60-70% as sweet as sugar.

It also blends well with high intensity sweeteners such as stevia and monk fruit and is used in everything from ice cream and confectionery, to baked goods, beverages, and table-top sweeteners.

Beverages account for 59% of the 16,000-18,000 tons/year US erythritol market, said Gustavo Strasser, Zerose erythritol Global Product Line Manager, Cargill. Second place goes to table top uses (16%), followed by confectionery (12%).

“As the dental health benefits of erythritol become more widely known, we see an emerging market for oral care products such as toothpaste and mouthwash,” ​Strasser told FoodNavigator-USA. “Gum and confectionery products positioned to oral health should also increase.”

New science

Cargill, the largest global producer of erythritol, has sponsored science to support the oral health potential of the ingredient. The company funded a three year double-blind, randomized, controlled study with 485 elementary school kids, which found that erythritol provided a significant reduction of cavities, dental plaque and the oral bacteria Streptococcus mutans​, compared with xylitol and sorbitol.

Throughout the three-year period, the kids were given 2.5 grams of polyol candies three times per day during their 200 school days each year. The data indicated that erythritol reduced dental plaque weight by 24%, and slowed the development of cavities and reduced the need for dentist intervention as compared to sorbitol and xylitol.

Researchers from the University of Tartu (Estonia), the University of Turku (Finland), and Kuwait University (Kuwait) report their findings in the Journal of Dentistry​ and Caries Research.

“Most oral care products contain sweeteners, but as this research clearly shows, not all sweeteners are the same,”​ said Peter de Cock, a global nutrition and regulatory manager at Cargill.

“With Zerose erythritol, manufacturers can formulate great-tasting oral care products that deliver significant dental health benefits compared to other sweeteners tested.”

Sources:
Journal of Dentistry
Volume 41, Issue 12, Pages 1236-1244, doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2013.09.007
“Effect of three-year consumption of erythritol, xylitol and sorbitol candies on various plaque and salivary caries-related variables”
Authors: R. Runnel, K.K. Makinen, S. Honkala, et al.

Caries Research
2014, Volume 48, Pages 482-490, doi: 10.1159/000358399
“Effect of Erythritol and Xylitol on Dental Caries Prevention in Children”
Authors: S. Honkala, R. Runnel, M. Saag, et al.

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