The maker of Phyto-S-Sterol manufacturers wood derived sterols and has increased manufacturing capacity at its Houston, Texas facility by 40 percent. According to the company, this capacity improvement has been achieved by streamlining production processes, as well as adding capital and improving technology.
Phyto-source said the market for phytosterol enriched products is growing as consumers gain awareness of the benefits associated with eating foods containing these ingredients.
And growth in this category does not look set to slow down any time soon. Frost & Sullivan has estimated the United States phytosterol market to grow to $196.7m by 2012, doubling from $103.9m in 2005.
This growth potential is at least in part driven by heart diseases. In 2004 in the US, 654,092 Americans died of heart disease - according to the National Center for Health Statistics - higher even than all forms of cancer combined, for which the mortality in the same year was 550,270.
Phyto-Source is not limiting its efforts to these recent changes at the Houston facilitly.
"There will be further expansion of capacity and product varieties at our Houston facility in the near term," said Bill Sonnier, manager of Phyto-Source. "We are also moving forward with plans to build a major manufacturing plant in Europe so that we can better serve that market's growing need for phytosterols."
Phytosterols have the added boost of holding a US Food & Drug Administration approved health claim for foods containing this ingredient:
"Foods or beverages containing at least 0.4 grams per serving of plant sterols, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily intake of at least 0.8 grams, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease."