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FORTIUM® R: the natural plant extract alternative to mixed tocopherols

Posted September 27, 2022

Nowadays consumers are more likely to take a closer look at the labels of their food and drinks. They are concerned about chemical sounding compounds in their nutrition. Plus, they want to check how many beneficial ingredients their food contains.

At Kemin we have a wide range of natural plant extracts helping manufacturers not only to achieve their food to stay fresher for longer, but also answering this consumer concerns. Nature has so many label-friendly alternatives to offer. Tocopherols are natural antioxidants, that are naturally present in a wide variety of plant extracts, containing specific molecules that are part of the group known as Vitamin E.

After the Covid-19 pandemic there’s an increased awareness for a healthier lifestyle among a lot of people, according to Innova Market Insights, global launches of supplements with vitamin E have seen a CAGR of 27% between 2017 and 2021. However, with booming demand on specific health categories comes shortage of raw materials for other applications like oxidation protection of food products leading to huge price increases, especially for the tocopherols sourced from soy. Let’s look at tocopherols and what are its alternatives.


Tocopherols: booming business

Tocopherols are monophenolic and lipophilic compounds, being one of the first liposoluble antioxidants isolated from plants, which makes them today the most common antioxidant in nature. Currently, the main commercial sources of natural tocopherols are soybean and sunflower oil.

Tocopherols are primary antioxidants that are classified as alpha, beta, gamma, and delta based on their chemical structures. The antioxidant activity of each isomer is different, as is its vitamin power. It’s the reason why tocopherols derived from soy are the most popular ones. Those extracts contain all four types of tocopherols when other sources like olive or sunflower contains mostly alpha-tocopherols or gamma-tocopherols. 


Activity of tocopherol homologues1

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The power of tocopherols is to prevent the oxidation of lipids by stopping the free radical chain reactions by yielding a hydrogen atom to a hydroperoxide radical. This way, in food, tocopherols protect against oxidative rancidity.

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In economics, the principle is that when demand rises, so do prices. There’s no exception in the tocopherol market. Tocopherols are widely used in soybean oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, and other sources. The prices for those are booming: the tocopherol market size exceeded USD 440 million in 2020 and is estimated to register over 6% CAGR from 2021 to 2027. Increasing consumer awareness of the health benefits of tocopherols coupled with an increased focus on preventive healthcare will drive the overall market growth2.

Alternatives to tocopherols

This tightening supply and rising raw material cost make you think what could be the other alternatives to keep food fresher for longer? Natural plant extracts like rosemary extract have a similar effect on the shelf life of food products. At Kemin we use the power of rosemary in our FORTIUM R products line.

Get to know them all


FORTIUM R is a complete line of rosemary extract active molecules designed for maximum effectiveness against colour and flavour degradation. Our FORTIUM R line provides a label-friendly alternative to tocopherols and traditionally used synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), or tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ). Furthermore, Kemin offers synergistic blends with rosemary extract, gallic acid, green tea extract and many other label-friendly ingredients.


Rosemary and gallic acid blend FORTIUM® RG20 Liquid acts as an alternative to the natural tocopherol blend FORTIUM TG20 Liquid and FORTIUM MT70 Liquid.

                                   Peroxide values (meq/kg fat) of lard stored at 40°C

Blog tocopherols

At Kemin we aim to understand deeply our ingredients at its molecular level. That is why since the beginning we have chosen to vertically integrate our rosemary. Powered by research and innovation we ensure the quality and safety of our products through a rigorous selection process. We are proud that Kemin rosemary has been Certified Sustainably Grown by CSC Global Services. We only harvest the finest rosemary determined by the high yield of antioxidant content. From these plants we extract our natural products which can be used in food solutions to extend the shelf life of a wide range of products such as meat, fish, poultry, sauces, fats, oils, bakery, and cereals.

Want to find your perfect alternative to tocopherols? Contact our team of experts. They will help you find the best natural shelf-life solution for your product.




References: Kemin Internal Studies: 17-00099, 12-00081, 17-00098, 17-00067.                                                                         1Kamal-Eldin, A. and L.-Å. Appelqvist.  1996. Lipids 31:671-701 Kulås, E. and R. G. Ackman.  2001. J. Agric. Food Chem. 49:1724-1729 / Riken.  A Tradition of Leadership and High-Quality Products.  Technical Bulletin.  Riken Vitamin Co., Ltd.  Tokyo, Japan, 2015.                                                                                                                                                                           2