Dramatic growth being experienced by the nutraceuticals market is forecast to be the biggest driver in the development of the flavenoids and isoflavones markets in Europe in the next six years, according to new research.

A report by international market analysts Frost and Sullivan reveals that the combined market, valued at $94million in 2000 will grow to be worth $144million by 2008.

However, this revenue growth does not directly correlate to their increased usage. In volume terms, over the same period, the market is forecast to more than double, from 276 tonnes to 570 tonnes.

Anna Ibbotson, Frost & Sullivan Food Programme Manager said: "We forecast that the demand for these products in Europe will rise dramatically. If we look at what is happening in the United States where isoflavones and flavenoids are currently used extensively in functional foods - we would expect to see this pattern mirrored in Europe. However their use remains marginal at present. Isoflavones and flavenoids producers should be looking for an early positioning in breakfast cereals, beverages, bakery and dairy products."

However, it is not all good news for these markets.  Improvements in extraction techniques, the lower cost of raw materials and the increasing availability of cheaper Asian supplies are driving the increasing price erosion of flavonoids. As for isoflavones their competition with soy fractions on price, will continue to restrain their expansion.