Sorbitan Esters: Market Introduction
Sorbitan esters are a product of the esterification reaction of sorbitol, which is a polyol and fatty acid. Both can be found in plant materials such as fruits, seaweed, and some animal sources. Sorbitan esters are also known as Span and sorbitan fatty acid esters. Sorbitol and fatty acids such as lauric, plamitic, and oleic acids are reacted with each other via a direct esterification reaction and produce sorbitan esters.
Sorbitol, as well as fatty acids, are naturally present in various plants and animals. Sorbitan esters comprise of six substances, of which, four are monoesters, one is a diester, and the remaining is a trimester. Most sorbitan esters are in the liquid state, with one exception that is solid in nature.
Sorbitan Esters Represent Versatile Functional Attributes
Sorbitan esters are approved by the FDA for use in food and beverages, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. In the food and beverage industry, sorbitan esters are used as stabilizers, solubilizers, and emulsifiers, mostly in bakery products, confectioneries, and oils and fats. Sorbitan esters in these food products allow efficient processing, and add value in terms of improved product quality, stability, and aeration. In oils and fats, sorbitan esters are mainly added to avoid recrystallization.
In cosmetics and personal care products, sorbitan esters are used as an emulsifying agent, which aims to improve the spreading or dispersing property as well as wetting property of a product by forming water in oil and oil in water emulsions. Other than food & beverage and cosmetic products, sorbitan esters are widely used in pharmaceuticals as an emulsifying agent.
Additionally, the property of sorbitan esters to improve the dispersing property of a product is utilized in the agricultural area. Sorbitan esters are used in agrochemicals as a surfactant in the form of ethoxylated derivatives of sorbitan esters. The market for sorbitan esters is expected to have a positive outlook over the forecast period of 2019-2029.
Developing Economies Pushing Demand for Sorbitan Esters for Use in Textile, Leather, and Metalworking Industries
Sorbitan esters are used as emulsifying agents in various industrial applications. Moreover, they are used to form water-in-oil emulsions for application in agrochemical formulations, and also the metalworking industry, textile industry, and leather industry. Rapid increase in the population all over the world, especially in Asian and MEA countries, is propelling various sectors, including textiles, leather, construction, agricultural, etc.
Moreover, a majority of the population is migrating towards mega-cities or urban areas in search of employment. With sizable population base concentrated in the mega-cities of developing nations, many industries have started to establish and expand their businesses in these regions.
This rapid increase in urbanization and industrialization in developing nations is boosting the automobile industry, consumer service sector, and construction industry, thus creating increased market demand for sorbitan esters. The market for sorbitan esters is driven by their use as antifoams, defoamers, and emulsifiers in these industries.
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Clean Label Sorbitan Esters Venturing into F&B, Cosmetic, and Pharmaceutical Industries
Consumer confidence regarding food safety has decreased drastically in recent years. Consumers are becoming more aware and want to know the origin of the food and food products, i.e., the farm-to-table chain. This consumer preference for food & beverage and cosmetic products have led to the emergence of a consumer driven trend - clean labelling. The increasing preference of consumers to opt for food and cosmetic products that are clean label and have optimum transparency is being observed.
Manufacturers of sorbitan esters are following the generally complex procedure of clean labelling while tapping into the current consumer trend. To establish consumer trust, and also to increase the sales of their food products, manufacturers are providing clean label products. Clean label products are trending in the food and beverage industry, as well as in other industries such as the cosmetics industry.
Increasing Popularity of Plant-based Ingredients Creating a Positive Outlook for Sorbitan Esters Manufactured from Plant Sources
Consumers of F&B and cosmetic industries are preferring products that are derived from plant sources or contain components that have originated from plant-based materials. Consumer awareness about long-term side effects of chemicals used in end products is mainly driving this trend in the market.
While the trend of plant-based products has been more prominent in developed countries such as Canada, the US, Germany, Sweden, Japan, and the UK, it is foreseen to gain momentum developing economies such as India, China, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and Nigeria. Currently, a majority of the global population resides in developing regions, which is expected to create high demand for plant-based products. Manufacturers are thus emphasizing sourcing of sorbitan esters from plants and plant-based materials.
Global Sorbitan Esters Market: Segmentation
By Product Type:
- Sorbitan Tristearate
- Sorbitan Monostearate
- Sorbitan Monooleate
- Sorbitan Trioleate
- Sorbitan Monopalmitate
- Sorbitan Monolaurate
- Sorbitan Sesquioleate
By End Use:
- Cosmetics and Personal Care Products
- Facial Care
- Body Care
- Food and Beverage Processing
- Oils and Fats
- Non-alcoholic Beverages
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Soups, Sauces, and Gravies
- Lubricants and Waxes
- Animal Nutrition and Pet Food
- Industrial (Polymers, Specialty Chemicals, Agrochemicals, etc.)
- Food Grade
- Industrial Grade
- Pharmaceutical Grade
- North America
- Latin America
- East Asia
- South Asia
- Middle East & Africa