Already on the US market with self-affirmed GRAS approval, the sucrose-derived disaccharide, also known under the generic name isomaltulose, will be targeted at European food manufacturers looking to enhance the nutritional value of their finished foods.
"Our tooth-friendly, low-glycaemic product is a slowly released carbohydrate that, in one ingredient, supplies a long energy supply," Claudia Meissner, marketing manager at Palatinit recently FoodNavigator.com.
Low-glycaemic foods are set to become increasingly popular as a mounting body of evidence suggests that they can help in the management and prevention of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Food makers under pressure from government and media to tackle such health concerns are already investigating the function of the glycaemic index, which ranks the impact of a food on blood sugar levels.
High GI foods are heavy in rapidly digested carbohydrates that raise blood sugar and insulin to high levels. Low GI-foods contain carbohydrates that release sugar more slowly.
Meissner added: "Our ingredient gives new possibilities to food makers because it is easier to combine ingredients for a prolonged energy supply. The Palatinose brand provides all of this in one ingredient alone."
Mannheim-based Palatinit will also target the buoyant sports drink market that in 2003 broke the €1 billion barrier in western Europe, with volumes up 27 per cent to 477 million litres.
New product development in energy drinks could further absorb Palatinit's ingredient. Although slower than previous years, energy drinks still saw a 6.5 per cent sales increase in 2003 to 311 million litres, translating into a market value of €2.3 billion in western Europe alone, according to market analysts Zenith International, and are set to see sustained growth.
The Commission decision cleared last month gives Palatinit, a subsidiary of the world's largest sugar producer, Südzucker, approval to market its Palatinose brand for use in the EU in all foods.