The global food preservatives market is expected to grow from USD 3.3 billion in 2021 to USD 4.0 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 4.1% from 2021 to 2026. The food preservatives market has been greatly influenced by the food & beverages processing market and is driven by changing consumer preferences and trends. The market has seen substantial fluctuations in recent years and is expected to experience extensive changes in how food is preserved.
Natural food preservatives, by type, is estimated to grow at a faster rate during the forecast period
Natural preservatives are now gaining a higher level of importance and preference among consumers in the wake of persistent controversies surrounding various synthetic preservatives, which have been known to cause harm to consumer health. Many synthetic preservative compounds have also been known to contain allergens, which could trigger an anaphylactic shock in susceptible individuals. This has resulted in a growing preference for natural compounds for preserving food.
Meat, poultry and seafood products is projected to dominate the food preservatives market during the forecast period
Preservatives for meat are required on a large scale; this is because meat is very commonly consumed across the globe, and the consumption is high in major regions such as North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Latin America. The economy is rising in these regions, which has given consumers the opportunity to consume meat on a regular basis.
Decomposition of the meat sets in as soon as the blood ceases to pulse in the veins, thus making it preservation necessary until its consumption. The nature of preservation must be governed by circumstances such as the kind and quality of the meat to be preserved, time period, and climatic conditions, among other factors. While salt, vinegar, and alcohol are largely used as preservatives since ancient times, boric acid and borax, and solutions containing salicylic acid and sulfuric acid are experiencing increasing usage.
The food preservatives market has shifted its focus from merely preventing damage to food and safeguarding the product for consumers. It now has a wide range of natural and chemical food preservatives that serve more purposes than preservation.
Antimicrobial food preservatives, by function, is estimated to account for the largest market share during the forecast period
The antimicrobial food preservatives account for the largest share, by function, of the food preservatives market, as these preservatives are used to prevent the growth of microorganisms. In the case of packaged foods, common spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms affect the food due to changes in pH value, oxygen content, and storage conditions (temperature, time, and humidity). This leads to the need for food preservatives. Antimicrobials can be added to food product formulations as coating agents and can also be used as packaging materials. The use of antimicrobials prevents bacterial and fungal growth on food items, leading to increased shelf life and convenient availability of the food product to consumers.
Europe is estimated to hold a significant market share during the forecast period
Across Europe, commodities such as synthetic antimicrobial agents and other food preservation additives have been used for extending the shelf life of food products. However, the future of such preservatives depends on improving technology combined with an effective delivery system to curb the undesirable effects on food products. This, in turn, would have directly impacted the growing demand for synthetic antimicrobials to prolong the shelf life of products. Additionally, natural alternatives are also gradually gaining increased prominence due to the awareness of health benefits. Consumers have also shown the tendency to opt for food products with no additives instead of ones with chemical preservative additives. This has warranted emphasis on consumer education related to the permitted usage levels and a better understanding of complex terminologies on product labels. It has also been a strong driver for further research on suitable alternates for the chemical/synthetic preservatives and techniques to bypass the need for additives. This is important as such apprehensions are expected to reduce opportunities for further growth. Such extensive research and product launches have been key features of prominent players in Europe.