Availability of substitutes offers stiff competition in modified starch market

By Oliver Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImkages / minadezhda
©GettyImkages / minadezhda

Related tags Starch

The health kick among consumers presents both threats and opportunities to Europe’s modified starch market, a report predicts.

The rising consumer trend for low fat and fat-free dairy products is fuelling strong global demand for modified starch, according to a report.

The global modified starch market – worth nearly US$10,000 million in 2019 – will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 5% over 2019-2027, predicts research from Future Market Insights, led by the trend in the dairy sector.

Developed countries, such as North America and Europe continue to remain lucrative for sales of modified starch​,” it said.

“The increasing trend of fat-free milk products or low-fat dairy products has led to an increase in demand for modified starch in the global market. Due to its fat reducing functional property, modified starch is used as an additive in dairy products, which tends to increase its demand in the global dairy market.”

The use of modified starch is growing in other sectors such as animal feed, cosmetics and personal care, papermaking, and pharmaceutical sectors, noted the market research.

However, thanks to modified starch’s qualities as an emulsifier, thickener, and fat replacer, the food and beverage sector is prominent. “Excellent functionality of modified starch continues to favour its adoption in wide range of processed food product​,” the report noted.

Modified starch provides functional properties such as texture, taste, and thickness in processed food and also helps to increase the shelf life of food products.  

“Modified starch continues to gain high traction from diverse sub-segments of F&B market,” ​it continued. “Amongst food and beverages sub-segments, bakery products and dairy products occupy major share by revenue in 2019, and portray similar trend over the forecast period.

“Global demand for modified starch is rising due to its growing use as a thickener or stabilizer in products such as puddings, fillings, and for other baking applications.​”

Acetylated starch accounts for over 40% modified starch sales, the research declared. Maize starch will remain the preferred source through 2027, with rice starch projected to witness highest CAGR.

Consumer health kick is a double-edged sword for modified starch market

However, the report noted that the health trend among consumers is a double-edged sword for the modified starch market.

On the one hand, the availability of substitutes could suppress global modified starch sales.

“Modified starch has substitute products such as pre-gelatinized and cold water swelling starches, specialty starches, non-GM starches, native, and functional native starches​,” explained the report.

“These products are also easily available and have higher health and cost benefits over modified starch. This increasing popularity and usage in industrial applications of other starch products can suppress the modified starch market growth. Due to the increasing health awareness in the food industry about natural and non-GMO food products, consumers are preferring alternative substitutes for modified starch.”

However, demand for non-GM foods will open up opportunities in the food and beverage development sector. The report noted that increasing expenditure on research and development activities by governments in the UK and Germany is creating new applications and increasing market demand.

“Development and subsequent adoption of non-GMO, organic, and supreme modified starch will grow considerably in products to suffice recurrent demand for unique and high quality processed food products. F&B industry will remain the most lucrative end user in modified starch market​,” it wrote.

Modified starch, too, offers a role in the growing plant-based space. Modified starch is used as a fat replacer in food, cosmetics, and other products, replacing regular fat that is dominantly animal-derived.

“Expanded shelf life, emulsifying property, thickening ability, and improved miscibility are the key attributes that manufacturers want in their offerings​,” the report concluded.

“High penetration of companies in the food ingredients market has made the modified starch market landscape fiercely competitive. Manufacturers are eying improved R&D activities to offer application-specific, novel, innovative and cost-effective solutions.”

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