By Nurul Hanis Izmir
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 (Bernama) -- The global tocotrienol market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2 per cent by 2024 from 530.4 tonnes in 2015, with the Asia Pacific region being the biggest market, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).
The projection is in tandem with the pharmaceutical and medical nutrition markets’ CAGR forecast of 23.5 per cent.
“The MPOB’s promotion of oil palm products, including tocotrienol, has helped to boost acceptance of such products, especially among manufacturers.
“As a result, palm tocotrienol products can now be easily found in the market, including on Amazon and other e-commerce platforms,” said director-general Datuk Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir to Bernama.
He urged local palm oil producers to take advantage of consumers’ positive response to palm tocotrienol as well as the rising preference for natural products or plant-based products.
Prevent chronic diseases with tocotrienol
Tocotrienol is a form of vitamin E found in palm oil, and consumption of tocotrienol supplements may help prevent high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, coronary heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure and heart failure.
The supplement can also be taken by adults with hectic lifestyles for general wellness.
“As an antioxidant, tocotrienol is more potent than tocopherol as they penetrate better into the cell membrane,” said Ahmad Parveez.
He added that currently, there are at least six tocotrienol brands that are manufactured locally, with products ranging from supplement capsules, cereals and skincare, among others.
Tocotrienol is already registered and recognised as a general health supplement by Malaysia’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency.
After obtaining the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) status back in 2010 and being gazetted as a food additive in Malaysia, tocotrienol can be incorporated into food products, as classified by the Ministry of Health (MoH).
In May this year, the MPOB announced that palm Tocotrienol-Rich Fraction (TRF) has been classified as an additional nutrient allowed for food products.
Chairman Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha said the MoH approved the certification after rigorous technical reviews, backed by the latest evidence from clinical and population studies.
“This nutrient claim can be used for food products that contain at least 10 milligrammes of TRF per 100 millilitres for liquid food, or containing at least 10 milligrammes of TRF per 100 grammes for solid food," he said.
KLK committed to ensuring evidence-based benefits
“Being allowed to highlight a nutrient claim on the product label provides more incentive for local food manufacturers to formulate with tocotrienol, leading to more tocotrienol-enriched products on the market,” said Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) chief executive officer, Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian.
The move would also help to raise tocotrienol’s profile and increase consumers’ awareness about its health benefits, he said.
The awareness campaign is a continuous effort, said Lee, who also emphasised the importance of clinical and population studies to prove tocotrienol’s health benefits.
“As a key manufacturer of this ingredient, we are committed to ensuring evidence-based benefits and have invested heavily in conducting clinical trials.
“We have recently published clinical trial data which showed that tocotrienol supplements help to improve attention span and memory capabilities in healthy young adults,” he said.
Aside from the rising consumers’ affinity for natural and plant-based products, another key consumer trend is sustainability, and one of the most notable advantage of the oil palm is that it is a zero-waste crop - the entire tree can be processed into a wide range of products.
“As a leading plantation company, our supply chain is fully integrated with the plantation to ensure consistent and quality supply of feedstock for our tocotrienol manufacturing,” he said.
Davos Life Science Sdn Bhd, part of the KLK group of companies, is one of the world’s major tocotrienol manufacturers, bringing out the natural goodness of palm oil, amplifying its potency and delivering it to consumers.
“KLK is fully committed to ensuring sustainability practices in everything we do. We want to build a sustainable future to ensure the well-being of present and future generations,” said Lee.
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