Global sales rise for enzymes, hydrocolloids

by Jeff Gelski
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SURREY, UNITED KINGDOM — Global sales of food and drink additives grew by more than 4% per year from 2006-10 and reached $27.4 billion in 2010, according to a Leatherhead Food Research report released Sept. 14. Growth rates varied between sections. The best performing sections were enzymes, acidulants and hydrocolloids. Preservatives and sweeteners had the lowest growth rates.

The report, “The Global Food Additives Market,” attributed much of the growth in enzymes, acidulants and hydrocolloids to increasing world prices affected by raw material and energy costs.

The enzymes section grew in year annum from 2006-10 to reach $1.1 billion. The acidulants category grew in value terms by 7.2% per year to reach $2.9 billion. The hydrocolloids section grew by 6.4% per year to reach $4.7 billion.

The move away from artificial additives and ingredients hindered growth in other sections, according to the report. The preservatives section grew in value terms by 1.5% per year from 2006-10 to reach $1.4 billion. Also affected were the colors section, which grew in value terms by 3.4% per year to reach $1.5 billion, and the antioxidants section, which grew in value terms by 3.1% to reach $858 million.

The flavors section ranked as the best-selling category with sales of $7.4 billion in 2010. Growing demand for products low in fat, salt or sugar, as well as products with functional health benefits, drove demand for such additives as emulsifiers, hydrocolloids, sweeteners, vitamins, minerals, soy ingredients, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, prebiotics and plant stanol esters.

Economic resilience and rising consumption levels in Asia-Pacific and Latin America offset waning consumer demand in developed economies such as North America and Europe.

The report noted the growing significance of China as a supplier and importer and how Western producers either have set up joint ventures or have established production bases there. The report forecast a relatively modest growth for the world food additives market over the next few years. Sectors likely to perform better include natural flavors and colors, food hydrocolloids, enzymes and some of the functional food ingredients.

Here is how the additive sections ranked by 2010 sales:

 flavors, $7.4 billion after an average annual growth rate of 3.9% from 20006-10,
 hydrocolloids, $4.7 billion after a 6.4% growth rate,
 flavor enhancers, $3.9 billion after a 3.6% growth rate,
 acidulants, $2.9 billion after a 7.2% growth rate,
 sweeteners, $1.9 billion a 1.3% growth rate,
 emulsifiers, $1.8 billion after a 4.9% growth rate,
 colors, $1.5 billion after a 3.4% growth rate,
 preservatives, $1.4 billion after a 1.5% growth rate,
 enzymes, $1.1 billion after a 10.2% growth rate, and
 antioxidants, $0.9 billion after a 3.1% growth rate.

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