China’s functional oligosaccharide market shows production rates under 13 percent

Publish time:12/15/2017 12:00:00 AM      Source: CCM
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Driven by low production costs and significant demand growth expectations, China’s functional oligosaccharide industry has surged production in recent years, but demand didn’t keep pace. Hence, most producers are running on a very low production rate and wait for higher consumer awareness of the healthy sugar replacement.


Capacity and Output of Trehalose in China

Source: CCM

The People’s Republic of China has grown production steadily of its functional oligosaccharide commodities in the last decades and especially in the recent three years. The investment into the healthy sweeteners started in the 1990s and still holds on, slowly getting more attention from consumers. After the USA, Europe and Japan, China is now playing a major role in the global Oligosaccharide supply chain.


However, contradicting to the surging production in recent years by several manufacturers, especially major players like Baolingbao Biology, Shandong Longlive, and New Francisco, the demand did not grow in line, which led to a severe overcapacity in China’s market.


The most important functional oligosaccharide for China’s market are isomalto-oligosaccharide, fructo-oligosaccharide, soybean oligosaccharide, galacto-oligosaccharide, xylo-oligosaccharide, and trehalose. These all have experienced different development in China in recent years, with changing growth in demand and production, but all of them are running way under the production capacity. In some extremes, oligosaccharide products are facing such a sluggish demand that the industry witnessed production rates under 13% of the possible capacity. All in all, the production was much lower than the capacity for all oligosaccharide products in recent years.


Functional oligosaccharide are replacing sucrose in many downstream applications, since they are attributed to have very beneficial effects on the human health, low calorie, and still show significant sweetener abilities. Especially the increasing consumption of healthy products in China’s growing middle class has pushed the demand for functional oligosaccharide as a replacement for traditional starch sugars.


As excellent dietary fibres or prebiotics, the demands on oligosaccharide from infant formula, functional beverage, yoghurt, slimming products are increasing incredibly in China, giving hope to manufacturers that the awareness is finally growing faster and demand will follow soon.


In the international competition, Chinese manufacturers own the advantages as enormous raw material supply, for example from non-genetic modified corn, lower labour cost, and government support on industrial and tax policies.

Capacity and Output of isomalto-olisaccharide in China

Source: CCM 

About functional oligosaccharide

Functional oligosaccharide are enjoying growing demand worldwide as prebiotic food ingredients used in various applications. The major prebiotic oligosaccharides on global markets are inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides, and galacto-oligosaccharides.


The functional oligosaccharides can be processed from various origins, including sources like viruses, bacteria, plants and fungi. Recently these food ingredients have been seen a wider usage scope, ranging from pharmacological supplements, food ingredients, and regulation of glucose control for diabetic patients to reducing serum lipid levels in hyperlipidemic and other some acute and chronic diseases.


Oligosaccharide category is a rising star in food sweetener products family due to its health functions. As novel sweeteners, oligosaccharides are used in a variety of end-use products as food, drink, dietary supplement, pharmaceutical and animal feeds. Particularly in foods, it’s can be added as an alternative sweetener of sugar.


About this article

The information of this article comes from the market research report Production of Functional Oligosaccharides in China, 2014-2016 by Chinese market intelligence firm CCM. Click on the link to see the report description.


CCM is China’s leading market intelligence firm in the fields of Food ingredients, Agriculture, and Chemicals. For more information on our research scope, please contact our team at