Polyphenols generally found in grapes, green tea, apples, cherries, olives, etc act as antioxidants and help in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s. They also enhance the performance of vitamins and hence are used in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, etc. Polyphenols can be classified as flavonoids and non-flavonoids. The most widely used polyphenols are tannins, resveratrol, catechins, gallic acid and epigallocatechin gallate. Growing number of aging population in Japan and Europe coupled with growing health consciousness in developing countries is expected to drive the market. Polyphenols are mainly extracted from grapes, olives, cocoa, apples, cranberries, pomegranate, etc. Identification of type of polyphenol and its concentration in the substrate are identified before the actual extraction process.
Some of the factors which influence the polyphenolic content are freshness of the raw material, the stage at which the fruit is harvested, climatic conditions and other environmental factors such as type of soil on which it is grown, etc. For example, higher content of polyphenols are found in freshly harvested olives when compared with other olives. Then these fruits are crushed and treated with hot water to extract polyphenols. The watery extract is filtered using membrane filters according to the type of polyphenols being extracted. The filtered extract is further treated on adsorption column or by addition of solvents. Commercially, the solvent technique is widely used as adsorption technique is time consuming and involves high cost. Ethanol is the major solvent used for polyphenol extraction. Further, by vacuum evaporator, alcohol and water is removed, thus separating the high concentrated polyphenols extract. This extract can be used in liquid form in functional beverages or can be converted into powder using spray dryer. These powdered polyphenols are encapsulated and consumed as dietary supplements.
Grape seed polyphenols emerged as the leading product segment in the global market and accounted for 53.9% of total market volume in 2013. However, green tea polyphenols is expected to be the fastest growing product segment, at an estimated CAGR of 8.9% from 2014 to 2020. Green tea contains high levels of polyphenolic content such as catechins, flavanols, etc. which helps in the treatment of lifestyle diseases. Large amount of green tea polyphenols from Japan and China are exported to developed countries. Cocoa and olive polyphenols are still in their nascent stage and are expected to penetrate market over the next few years, with wide application in functional foods such as chocolates, biscuits, cereals, etc. as well as in functional beverages. These polyphenols are most commonly used in developed nations such as Switzerland, Germany and France as the production of chocolate & olive derived products are manufactured on a large scale.
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Functional beverages dominated the application market for polyphenols and accounted for 44.3% of total market volume in 2013. In addition to being the largest application market, functional beverages are also expected to be the fastest growing application market for polyphenols at an estimated CAGR of 9% from 2014 to 2020. The growth is primarily driven by increasing consumption of functional beverages such as bottled tea and energy drinks in Japan and China. The beverages are fortified with grape, apple, and pomegranate polyphenols to enhance its nutritional value and helps in maintaining good health.
Asia Pacific continued its dominance in the global market and accounted for 40.9% of total market volume in 2013. Along with being the largest market, Asia Pacific is also expected to be the fastest growing market for polyphenols at an estimated CAGR of 9.2% from 2014 to 2020. European market for polyphenols is expected to reach USD 259.5 million by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2014 to 2020.
The global market for polyphenols is highly concentrated and is led by top multinational corporations such as Naturex, Layn Natural Ingredients and Ajinomoto OmniChem Natural Specialties. However, presence of large unorganized market mainly in China poses constant threats to large such large manufacturers in terms of their quality and price offerings.