Thaumatin is a low calorie sweetener derived from Katemfe fruit, also called 'the miraculous fruit of Sudan'. These are extensively cultivated in the rainforests of West Africa. The fruit is made up of 1 to 3 black seeds surrounded by a gel, and enclosed within a membranous sac known as the aril, which contains the sweetener. Thaumatin is an odorless, water soluble protein which possesses high heat stability. The two main forms of protein present in the Katemfe plant are Thaumatin I and Thaumatin II. Though Thaumatin is 2000 times sweeter than sucrose, it is mainly used as a flavor enhancer rather than a sweetener and it does not contribute to major calories in the diet.
Thaumatin is now being used in baked and savory foods, desserts, fruit juices, milk powder, soft drinks, chewing gums, and coffee products. It is generally mixed with other natural sweeteners such as Stevia in order to reduce its bitterness. Due to its licorice-like taste with delayed onset, other artificial sweeteners are preferred over Thaumatin. In the U.S., Thaumatin possesses GRAS status—it does not have approval as a sweetener but widely used as a flavor enhancer. European Food Safety Authority has approved Thaumatin as a sweetener.
The major drivers of the market are growing demand for low calorie dairy products and continuous research on application of thaumatin in other products such as toothpastes and other oral care products. The restraining factors are concentrated cultivation of thaumatin only in Africa and lack of consistency among food regulations globally. In Europe and Asia Pacific, thaumatin is classified as sweetener by the regulatory bodies, whereas FDA has permitted its use only as a flavor enhancer.
Global Thaumatin Market Taxonomy:
On the basis of applications, global Thaumatin market is segmented as,
- Flavoring agent
On the basis of end-use industry, global Thaumatin market is segmented as,
- Food & Beverages
- Personal Care
Flavoring agent segment held the highest share in terms of value in the global thaumatin market in 2016, due to its excellent flavor modification properties. Owing to increasing acceptance of thaumatin as a sweetener in Asia Pacific and Europe, the segment is expected to show significant growth over the forecast period.
Food & beverages segment dominated global thaumatin market in 2016, followed by pharmaceuticals segment. It is expected to maintain its dominance during forecast period due to increasing use of thaumatin in flavored food products such as bread and palm wines. Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics segments are expected to experience high growth rate in global thaumatin market during forecast period (2018-2025) owing to increasing use in formulations as an emulsifier.
Global Thaumatin Market outlook:
- Owing to growing demand for natural flavored food products and beverages, North America held the highest share by volume in global thaumatin market in 2016. In the U.S., thaumatin is widely accepted as a natural flavoring agent in Coffee drinks, refreshing drinks, yoghurts, chewing-gum, jams, and jellies, which is expected to fuel market growth.
- Europe held second-largest share in global thaumatin market due to wide acceptance of thaumatin as a sweetener by European Federation. The favorable regulations and rising consumer awareness regarding ingredients used in the processing of food products is expected to drive market demand. In addition to this, technological advancements also stands to be one of the key factors contributing to market growth. For instance, the development of low cost thaumatin by Unilever by the process of inserting thaumatin producing genes into bacteria.
- Africa is a matured market for thaumatin, as thaumatin fruits are widely harvested in western Africa region and mainly used to sweeten food products. Some of the key markets in the region are Ghana and Nigeria.
Key players in Global Thaumatin Market:
Some of the leading key players in global Thaumatin market are Naturex, Beneo Palatinit GmbH, Natex, KF Specialty Ingredients Nutraceutical Group, and Neptune Bio-Innovations.