US enzyme market poised for continued growth

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Enzymes, Starch, Enzyme, Food

The US enzyme market is set for healthy growth, according to a new
report, but continued downward pricing pressures mean that this
growth will likely result from a corresponding increase in food and
beverage production.

Published last week by market researcher Freedonia, the new report estimates that demand for enzymes used in food and beverage processing applications will increase 4.1 percent annually to reach $262m in 2010.

One force behind this growth will be an increasing demand from manufacturers seeking more effective ingredients for specific applications, said Freedonia.

However, the report also reveals that continuing concern among organic food consumers over the incorporation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)- with which bioengineered enzymes are often associated- into the food supply may restrain growth.

Enzymes, used in the food industry as processing aids, provide a natural way for food and beverage manufacturers to improve production efficiency, as well as food quality and consistency.

Enzymes may be directly involved in food transformation, as with the use of chymosin for cheese production, or indirectly involved, as with the use of pectinase for fruit juice clarification. Enzymes may also be added to processed foods to enhance certain characteristics or to act as flavor modifiers.

According to the figures released in the report, the food and beverage industry currently accounts for 13.3 percent of total enzyme demand. And while this percentage is expected to drop in the future as other segments- such as pharmaceuticals- gain in importance, food and beverage processing is expected to continue to comprise a significant share of the overall market.

Enzymes for the bakery segment have seen the biggest growth in the past decade, with demand doubling to $44m in 2005, compared to $22 in 1995. Dairy enzymes have also shot up by 52 percent in the period, and demand currently stands at $52m. Enzymes for use in beverages hold a $44m market value, up 47 percent since 1995.

By 2013, total food and beverage enzyme sales are estimated to reach $320m.

The enzyme market has benefited significantly from product innovation efforts in recent years, said the report. Such applications include the extension of the shelf life of baked goods and the imitation of meat and cheese flavorings in a variety of prepared dishes.

When it comes to beverages, soft drinks are a natural leader for enzyme demand, using corn syrup produced by starch processing enzymes. Beer, wine, and fruit juice beverages are the next most prominent users of enzymes in the beverage industry.

"Growth opportunities will exist for novel products such as specialty beers that utilize modified brewing processes and 'new age' beverages containing mixtures of corn syrup and assorted fruit juices, and in some cases added enzymes as 'nutritional aids,'"​ said Freedonia.

Some of the most common enzymes used in the food industry include carbohydrases, proteases and lipases.

Although lipases do not hold as large a market share as carbohydrases and proteases, this group has seen the biggest increase in demand since 1995, shooting up by 100 percent. It will continue to be the fastest growing, with demand expected to increase a further 71 percent by 2015.

The leading supplier of enzymes to the US food and beverage market is Novozymes, which has a dominant position in the baking and brewing segments. However, Danisco is challenging this position through its April 2005 acquisition of Genencor. Cargill, a major supplier of raw materials to the food and beverage industry, also entered the market via its April 2006 acquisition of Degussa's Food Ingredients business. Other leading suppliers including AB Enzymes, Amano Enzyme, Chr. Hansen, DSM and ValleyResearch.

Related topics: Cultures, enzymes, yeast

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