Nutrinova, the food ingredients business of German chemicals company Celanese, said in a statement it had pushed up the price of sorbic acid and potassium sorbate "by an average of 10 % or as contracts allow". The statement gave no further details about the price rise and spokeswomen Barbara Path told Foodnavigator it was "company policy not to comment on price movements". However, it is likely that growing raw material and energy costs are at least partly responsible for the increase. Sorbates are chemical preservatives that are used extensively in the rapidly growing global processed foods market to stop moulds and yeasts damaging primarily high-moisture and high-sugar foods. Market analysts Global Information estimated that the global food preservative market was worth €422.7 billion in 2005 and forecast that it would reach €515.7 billion by 2008 thanks to a buoyant annual growth rate of around 4 per cent. Growth in the chemical preservation industry has been led by the sorbates sector, which recorded annual sales of $162 million in the US in 2003, or approximately 53 per cent of all US sales of chemical and natural preservatives. In addition to producing sorbates, Nutrinova is best known for its Acesulfame K high intensity sweetener product that is marketed under the brand name Sunett. The product, which is roughly 200 times sweeter than sugar, has enjoyed volume gains in the buoyant sweetener market of late. The company claims that the ingredient is now used in over 4,000 food and beverage products worldwide.