Food has been preserved by humans for centuries. Over the years, humans have developed various methods including drying, salting and canning food items to increase the shelf life of various food products. With the increase in the use of canned goods and packaged food items, the food preservative market has increased significantly over the last few years. As per food preservative market forecast, the size of the market touched the levels of USD 7.89 billion in 2018 and registered a CAGR of 6.2%.
What are food preservatives?
Food preservatives are products added to food during their processing to prevent them from spoiling. They prevent the growth of microorganisms and this, in turn, helps in delaying food spoilage. On the basis of toxicity, food preservatives are categorized into two types namely non-toxic and moderately toxic. Generally, non-toxic preservatives are used during processing of food items. The use of moderately toxic preservatives is first regulated by the U.S. FDA and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Uses of food preservatives
The food preservatives these days are used in almost all packaged food items. Various dairy products, snacks, poultry products, meat, confectioneries, bakery products etc use preservatives to avoid early spoilage. The reason for the increase in demand for these items depends on the change in the lifestyle of humans and the increase in the number of customers seeking good quality products.
Size of Food Preservative Market
With the increase in demand for packaged food items, the food preservative market has increased substantially over the years. Nitrites food preservatives, which are used to preserve red meat, have witnessed a steady growth in the market. Various food processing companies are using new technologies and partnerships for the expansion of their market.
Growing use of food preservatives
There are three main reasons for the growth in the use of food preservatives over the years. These include:
- Increased demand for packaged items
Over the last decade, the demand for packaged and frozen items has increased. With rapid urbanization, eating habits and international food trends have changed. With this increase in demand, more food processing companies’ use and supply food items with added preservatives. Time constraint is the major reason for choosing frozen foods. The increase in the number of working women and the increase in middle-class population have also contributed to the rise in demand for packaged food items.
Hectic lifestyle has contributed to the increased consumption of packaged food. Over the last few years, the work schedule and day to day activities of people have increased. This increase leads to increased consumption of ready to eat food items. Ready to eat items are not only easily available but also helps save time of preparation, cooking and cleaning. In addition, microwave cooking supports these items making them even more efficient.
- Complexity in the food supply chain
Food supply is getting complicated and growing rapidly. The cost concerns, the demand of consumers and availability have increased the import of diverse food products. Also, with an increase in demand for food items around the year, the use of preservation techniques has increased over the years. The food is grown and exported across the world. Some are shipped as finished products while others are transported as ingredients. This further increases the complexity in the supply chain. The need to store and increase the shelf life of any product increases. This leads to an increase in the use of preservatives.
Major Players to Watch
Initially, the market revolved around the production and usage of synthetic food preservatives. But with an increase in demand for organic goods and products, new companies are also coming up in the field. The leading manufacturers of food preservatives include Akzo Nobel N.V., BASF SE, and Celanese Corporation.
Some other food preservative manufacturing companies producing natural products include Royal DSM N.V., Galactic S.A. and Kemin Industries, Inc. Industries such as Galactic and Kemin are competitive companies producing food preservatives using natural ingredients such as vinegar and rosemary extracts.
Also, big corporations are on an acquisition spree to establish their stronghold on the market. For instance, BASF SE has merged with China’s SINOPEC to expand production and increase its sales.
Food preservatives are now a very important part of food manufacturing and processing industry. With the rise in global population and an increase in average income, demand for processed food products has been increasing steadily. All the signs are looking ominous for the food preservative industry which can witness incredible expansion in the next few years.