Monellin is a sweet protein that is isolated from the fruit native to West Africa known as Dioscoreophyllum cumminsii Diels, commonly called as the serendipity berry. Monellin is a natural sweetener that is nearly 1,500 times as sweet as sugar. Monellin was first thought to be a carbohydrate but later its potency as a potential sweetener was confirmed. Monellin is used as a sweetener and a flavor enhancer in food and beverage industry. However, the commercial establishment and mass marketing of monellin are yet to find acceptance and approval in the food and beverage industry.
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Presently use of monellin is limited in spite of its sweetening efficiency, the reason being the sensitivity of monellin towards heat or acid treatment, which makes its large-scale purification relatively difficult. Moreover, the serendipity berry plant is difficult to grow, and the sweetness content of the plant is based on its structure which gets broken when exposed to extreme temperatures, making its stability as a food additive uncertain. However, measures are taken to overcome these limits by modifying the protein structure and synthetically producing monellin to achieve the desired sweetness level without any external or internal hindrance.
The landscape for sweeteners is continuously developing and evolving. The selection for right sweeteners depends on several factors that include changing consumers’ demands, improvement in ingredient technology, intensive research and development facilities, and health and regulatory concerns.
There are a vast and diverse number of industries that use sweeteners as flavor enhancer and additive; it’s merely impossible to have a single on-the-go solution for sweetness. Experts operating in the food and beverage industry thus carefully consider sweeteners and opt for those ingredient suppliers that have technical know-how and experience to aid them in finding a sweetener that caters to the needs and demands of the consumers. Monellin is a protein-based sweetener that is obtained from serendipity berry which is being considered by researchers and industry experts as a potential alternative of conventional sweeteners available in the market. Intensive research and development activities are carried out to improve the efficiency and efficacy of monellin with overcoming its limits related to production and instability at extreme PH and temperatures.
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Intensive research and development are anticipated to be the primary driver for the market of monellin over the forecast period. Besides, the adoption of monellin by food and beverage manufacturers to provide consumers with a better sweetener solution is also expected to push the market for monellin in the near future. Monellin is used to target the population with diabetes and those who are likely to limit their sugar intake. Targeting these group of consumers is again anticipated to provide prospects for monellin over the forecast period.