Bakers Journal

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Alberta’s NovaGreen to produce sugar substitute xylitol


May 11, 2012
By Bakers Journal

May 11, 2012 – NovaGreen, an Alberta-based specialty refinery that aims
to make high-value nutritional and environmental products from low-value
agricultural biomass, will begin the production of xylitol over the
next 24 months.

May 11, 2012 – NovaGreen, an Alberta-based specialty refinery that aims to make high-value nutritional and environmental products from low-value agricultural biomass, will begin the production of xylitol over the next 24 months.

A naturally occurring sugar substitute, xylitol is roughly as sweet as sucrose with only two-thirds of the calories. Because it cannot be utilized by bacteria to form cavities, this healthy natural sweetener is highly coveted in making sugar-free chewing gum and other dental-friendly products. It’s also safe for diabetics and pre-diabetics, and an excellent mass-market substitute for sugar in many confectionery and dairy products. Current food and beverage applications include desserts, ice cream, jam,
bread spreads, and fruit preparations, baked goods, instant sauces and
mustards, and chewing gum and confectioneries.

The current global market for xylitol is estimated at $400 million to $500 million US; the American market is estimated at $159 million for 2012, and has seen a compound annual growth rate of nearly 25 per cent since 2002. With the assurances of a large-scale supply, xylitol is expected to be more widely used, with emerging opportunities in the future to blend xylitol and sugar to reduce the overall finished product cost while still providing significant consumer benefit.

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NovaGreen’s Sequential Extraction Technology (SET) will convert biomass,
such as wheat straw, corn stover, wood chips, and Jerusalem artichoke
(jart), into a high-value array of products in both the health and
nutrition and the environmental industries. Besides xylitol, products
from jart will also include inulin, a soluble dietary fiber, and XOS
(xylo-oligosaccharides), another edible fiber with prebiotic function.