Among prominent countries accounting for a significant pie of global food sales, the U.S., European Union, and Japan together combined to account for over 60% of the overall processed food sales at retail. Trade liberalization policies through multilateral and regional trade agreements have led to a rapid growth of food & beverages.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Japan is the largest food processing market, but India, as well as China, are likely to grow at a significant rate. The processed food industry in Japan and South Korea is vital due to the significant quantity of meat imported for both domestic consumption and further processing in the preparation of packaged and ready meals.
Food thickening agents have the ability to increase the viscosity of a liquid without altering its properties. Food thickening agents help in increasing the stability of the product by improving the suspension of other ingredients. Food thickening agents are commonly used to add a creamy and flavourful texture to any sweet or savory recipe without changing the original taste. Over the years, food thickening agents have been widely used for patients suffering from swallowing difficulty or dysphagia.
On the basis of source, the food thickening agents are derived from plant, seaweed, microbes, animal and synthetic compounds. Food thickening agents find applications in various segments, including bakery & confectionery, sauces & dressings, meat & poultry, dairy, beverages, among others.
Productive Growth for Plant Sourced Food Thickening Agents
Among the source segment, food thickening agents derived from plant-based sources are anticipated to register a high growth rate of 4.7% in terms of revenue in the global food thickening agents market, owing to increasing awareness of plant-sourced products and their associated quality by consumers across the globe.
Increasing Demand for Food Products with Good Taste and Mouth Feel
Food processing companies face the pressure of developing innovative food products without comprising on the original taste and quality. The ability of food thickening agents to increase the viscosity of a liquid without causing an alternation in other properties and providing an improved mouthfeel has caused an accelerating shift of food manufacturers towards them.
- For instance, Novo Alpi Srl, an Italian-based prepared food manufacturing company, provides ready-to-eat cakes and slices made by using natural food thickening agents such as tapioca and maize starch, under its brand Agluten.
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Increasing Prevalence of Swallowing Difficulty Among Aging Adults
Difficulty in swallowing, or dysphagia in medical terms, has witnessed a significant increase over the years, especially by the aging population. Food thickening agents help in slowing down the transit of fluids and food, providing more coordination time for the swallowing process. Thus, people suffering from dysphagia widely prefer the inclusion of food thickening agents in their meals for varying the consistency of their food.
- For instance, Nestlé Health Science provides an innovative food thickening agent, designed especially for dysphagia patients, called Resource ThickenUp. This food thickening agent rapidly thickens the food without affecting its taste and odor.
Inclination towards Clean Label Ingredients
The increasing awareness of consumers, particularly regarding the ingredients in their food products, is responsible for making clean label products a pillar in the food industry. Consumers demand food products containing natural and simple ingredients. Food thickening agents are derived from plant as well as vegetable sources, thus, satisfying the consumer demand for no artificial additives and ingredients.
- For instance, Archer Daniels Midland Company offers a wide range of starches such as corn, wheat, and tapioca. These starches are ideal food thickening agents for food products requiring a delicate texture, flavor, and light color. These starches not only function as thickeners but as binders and emulsifiers too, and have found wide applications in the bakery, confectionery, and dairy industries.
Key Segments Covered
Global Food Thickening Agents Market – By Source
- Guar Gum
- Gum Arabic
- Locust Bean Gum
- Other Plant Sources
- Gellan Gum
- Xanthan Gum
- Animal (Gelatin)
- Carboxy Methyl Cellulose
- Methyl Cellulose
Global Food Thickening Agents Market – By Application
- Bakery & Confectionery
- Meat & Poultry
- Sauces & Dressings
- Dairy Products
- Other Applications
Global Food Thickening Agents Market – By Region
- North America
- Western Europe
- Eastern Europe
- Latin America
- Asia Pacific excluding Japan
- Middle East & Africa