The 20 billion dollar question

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Related tags: Functional foods, E number, Nutrition

The current trend towards health foods is making an impact on the
€20.2bn global food additives industry with demand for low-fat,
low-calorie and functional foods ensuring future development of fat
replacers, hydrocolloids, sweeteners, vitamins and minerals, as
well as other functional food ingredient categories.

The current trend towards health foods is making an impact on the €20.2 billion global food additives industry with demand for low-fat, low-calorie and functional foods ensuring future development of fat replacers, hydrocolloids, sweeteners, vitamins and minerals, as well as other functional food ingredient categories, claims a new report from Leatherhead Food Research Association​.

As the functional foods market develops further, new sectors will be added to this last category, with ingredient innovation being vital to the continued expansion of functional foods, adds the report.

The most important individual sectors within the food additive market include flavours at an estimated US$5,300m (€5.4m) in 2000, hydrocolloids at US$2,926 million (€2.96m), flavour enhancers at US$2,610 million (€2.64m), and acidulants at US$2,369 million (€2.4m).

According to the Leatherhead report, although China as a whole now represents over a quarter of global citric acid output, at around 275,000 tonnes in 2000, the largest single Chinese supplier, Bengbu, remains smaller than the top five western producers. These are Archer Daniels Midland, Jungbunzlauer, Tate & Lyle, Roche, and Cargill, which together account for two thirds of the world market.

The US remains the most significant market for aspartame, using around 65 per cent of the total aspartame volume, with Europe representing around 23 per cent. There is rising demand in Asia although the price tends to restrict the use of aspartame in some of the developing countries.

The international xanthan gum market is dominated by the CP Kelco business. Kelco was responsible for the introduction of xanthan gum back in 1969 and remains the dominant force in this sector with over 50 per cent of the international market. The second-placed producer of xanthan gum is French company Rhodia, which is reported to take around 20 per cent of the market.

Following the major price cuts experienced in the vitamins market in recent years and the consequent decline in market value, the sector is expected to stabilise within the next five to10 years, prompting renewed value growth towards the end of the decade. In 2000 and 2001, there were already some price increases seen in certain sectors, including vitamin E, biotin and premixes, suggesting the beginnings of a recovery in the industry.

Based on sales volumes of cholesterol-lowering spreads around the world, it is estimated that sales of plant stanol and sterol esters for food use amount to around 3,000 tonnes a year, with the European market alone representing around two thirds of this.

The report concludes that the world market for soya proteins is reported to be worth around US$1.5 billion (€1.5bn) to US$2 billion a year, with Europe and the US accounting for around 40 per cent each. Soya isoflavone concentrates is the newest and fastest growing sector of the market, sales of which are reported to be between US$30 million and US$40 million a year.

Related topics: Market Trends

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