Roquette sues to protect maltitol patent

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Roquette, Innovation, Patent, Sugar substitute

French ingredients firm Roquette has filed a suit over an alleged
patent infringement of its maltitol product.

The company said that it was carrying out the action in New Jersey District Court, US in order to protect its ongoing product innovation and investment in research and development.

The suit for patent infringement is against Yucheng Lujian Biological Co and Fass Food Ingredients.

The complaint identifies maltitol crystal products that allegedly infringe upon Roquettes patented technology.

"Roquette's innovations and patented technologies are the result of extensive Roquette research and development efforts,"​ Bruno Quenon from Roquette's regulatory department told FoodNavigator.

"Roquette has always grown due to product innovation. Roquette files patent applications on its inventions throughout the world to protect its investments. We holds many significant patents on polyols technologies and are determined to protect our intellectual property.

"We are prepared to take action against any infringement of our patents. The lawsuit against Yucheng Lujian Biological Co and Fass Food Ingredients is in line with this strategy."

Roquette said that its patent protects new forms of maltitol crystals, for example bipyramidal maltitol forms, which are designed to maximise performance in the production of chocolate and chewing gum. According to Quenon, the patent was filed in 1998 and will expire in 2018.

"Maltitol is currently the best sugar substitute on the market - in many aspects it is very similar to sucrose,"​ Emily Lauwaert, from Roquette's food business unit, told FoodNavigator earlier this year.

"Produced from cereals, it is used in many recipes where it plays the same role a sugar but with 40 per cent fewer calories than sugar. It also has a significantly lower energy value (2.4 kcal vs. 4 kcal for sugar)."

Maltitol is used to obtain low viscosity with minimal fat absorption in products such as chocolate, and to retain flexible textures in products such as chewing gum.

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