Low-fat trends drive additive ingredients sales

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food additives, Flavor

Food additives such as hydrocolloids and enzymes that help manufacturers create lower-fat products without affecting taste and texture are driving...

Food additives such as hydrocolloids and enzymes that help manufacturers create lower-fat products without affecting taste and texture are driving growth in the market, according to Leatherhead Food International (LFI).

An LFI report offering detailed analysis of the global food additives market and its prospects by category, predicts annual growth of 7.3% for emulsifiers and 5% for hydrocolloids and enzymes between 2007-2010.

This is compared to predicted annual growth of just 2.2% for flavours, 1.9% for sweeteners and 1.7% for preservatives over the same period.

“Emulsifiers have been increasingly used as fat replacers in no/low/reduced fat foods, which have been and continue to be a major growth area,” claims the report. “The industry has developed innovative products to stimulate the body and creaminess lost in processed foods when fat is removed.”

Meanwhile, the most dynamic growth in hydrocolloids has been in low-fat formulations that emulate the mouthfeel of full-fat foods, as well as in lower-carb and high-fibre foods, it says.

The $23bn global food additives market grew by more than 3% a year between 2004 and 2007. However, flavour enhancers, preservatives, sweeteners and acidulants in particular suffered as Chinese market entrants drove down prices, despite rising raw materials costs, adds the report. “Strong competition from low-cost Chinese additive producers has led to massive price cuts, declining margins and inevitable consolidation. Several major western producers either have Chinese joint ventures or have set up their own plants in China in order to compete more effectively.”

Developing markets such as Asia-Pacific and Latin America are displaying the strongest growth, with US and European markets maturing in many of the more established sectors, adds the report. “The market is expected to continue growing at a rate of about 2.5% a year over the next three years taking sales to an estimated $24.5bn by 2010.”

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