According to two recent studies from Freedonia and Frost & Sullivan, food and beverage enzymes are worth around US$800m globally, split between dairy, beverage and bakery enzymes.
The market is growing at around 5 per cent a year, slightly higher than the growth rates seen for food ingredients in general. And certain areas, such as brewing enzymes (especially in China) are growing at an even faster rate, James Laughton of Danisco’s Genencor division told FoodNavigator.com.
Laughton, executive vice president of enzymes for food, beverage and animal nutrition, predicts that growth will continue – indeed, Danisco expects its food and beverage enzyme business to grow faster than the market, as new applications are rolled out of the coming years. “Internal target is double digit growth in the next two years,” he said.
He identified three main ways in which enzymes can meet the current pressing needs of industry. First and foremost is the use of processing aids to bring cost savings, a “door opener” for new customers.
“All products have to justify their value. The better that justification is, the easier it is to demonstrate value. That is why the market continues to grow.”
Secondly, food firms are under pressure to produce in a sustainable fashion, and enzymes as processing aids can boost food safety, quality, and shelf-life without the need for additives in the formulation.
The third big driver is uncovering health and nutrition benefits that can be brought about through use of enzymes. For example, certain enzymes can improve the quality of fibre in bakery or juice products,
While Danisco does not have off-the-shelf enzymes geared towards this use, it works with bakers and formulators to deliver specialty results.
“We can use existing enzymes in this way,” Laughton said.
For Danisco the number one segment for enzymes is bakery, followed by beverages. Dairy enzymes through its cultures division; although this is external to Genencor, Danisco has one global sales force for food ingredients that offers the gamut of products from all divisions.
In addition to health and nutrition benefits, the main drivers for bakery are shelf-life extension and strengthening the dough quality.
For instance, its G4 amylase enzyme is being used to extend the traditional market for enzymes into different kinds of baked goods, like buns and tortillas. There is a strong need for buns that remain soft, and for tortillas that do not fall apart, said Laughton.
In beverages, productivity in brewing is paramount, due to high cereal prices. Brewing tends to be based on barley, and Danisco looks for new enzyme activities that can allow it to be replaced by other cereals when prices are high.
Genencor’s R&D is based around “using the basic technology of Genencor, and applying it to bring specific solutions, rather than a brand new enzyme”.
This means that it can continuously launch new formulations, but these do not represent a major technology shift each time.