Natural antioxidant revenues are outpacing synthetic equivalents in the European shelf-life extension food additives market, mainly due to the rising consumer preference for natural ingredients in food products, according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan. “Analysis of the European Shelf-life Extension Food Additives Market” forecasts the market to more than double in coming years, from revenues of $103.6 million in 2011 to $246.1 million in 2018. The most noteworthy trend to emerge, however, has been the blending of different antioxidants to minimize cost due to spiralling commodity prices and raw material shortages.
Consumer perception that natural products are healthy has underlined the significant shift toward the use of more natural antioxidants such as mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) and rosemary extracts, rather than synthetic antioxidants. “However, naturally derived antioxidants are experiencing a huge rise in price,” noted Frost & Sullivan Chemicals, Materials and Foods Research Analyst Ashwin Raj Ravinder. “As a result, the trend of blending different antioxidants is gaining appeal.”
Blending allows suppliers to partially replace natural antioxidants. The process includes blending rosemary extracts, for example, with mixed tocopherols and ascorbyl palmitate, which is synthetic. Blending antioxidants provides a less expensive product of equal quality and efficacy.
Raw materials needed to manufacture antioxidants are scarce, which affects the natural vitamin E segment. The reduced volume production of mixed tocopherols, results in a prevalence of alternate sources due to price increases.
“Vertical integration will be crucial to overcoming challenges related to the dearth in raw materials,” advised Mr. Ravinder. “Strategic partnerships and alliances with raw material suppliers too are vital to gain market share, especially in the natural shelf-life extension food additives market.”