The global citric acid market size was estimated at USD 2.89 billion in 2016 and is expected to witness significant growth on account of its extensive use in numerous applications right from food & beverages to metal finishing. Moreover, the broad applicability of citric acid as an acidulant, preservative, emulsifier, flavouring, sequestrant, and buffering agent in the food and non-food industries is expected to result in its increasing growth over the forecast period.
Global citric acid market volume, 2014 – 2024 (Kilo Tons)
The inclination of the current market towards organic food rather than synthetic has given rise to a rising demand for additives derived from natural origin, especially in packaged food & beverage industry and cosmetic products. The increasing use of citric acid as a natural flavouring agent has amplified as a result of growing consumer demand for organic products. Thus, the growing preference for natural food additives is likely to influence the market over the next few years.
Rising consumer awareness regarding hygiene and cleanliness, particularly in developing economies, is expected to bolster the growth of the detergents & cleaners market over the projected period. As they are biodegradable and environment-friendly in nature, they are used extensively in cleaners & detergents, which is expected to have a positive influence on the growth of the market.
Increasing availability of lactic acid which can be utilised as a substitute for the product is projected to hamper the growth of the citric acid industry. Moreover, the shortage of the primary raw materials including corn for the production of the chemical is expected to have adverse effects on the development of the market.
Segmentation By Application
• Food & beverages
• Household detergents & cleaners
Food accounted for the lion’s share of the market valued at USD 1.76 billion in 2016. It is used extensively in a broad range of food items in the form of a flavouring agent, a preservative, a colouring agent, and as an antioxidant. Moreover, it is used commonly as an acidulant in food & beverages.
Acidulants add taste to the food; they help in the formation of gel-based products such as jams, jellies, and gelatin-based products by controlling the pH, and provide the conditions for the stabilisation of emulsions (e.g. processed cheese and dairy products). The growing demand for processed foods is expected to drive the demand for citric acid over the projected period.
Household detergents & cleaners were the second largest segment of the market accounting for 15% of the volume share in 2016. Citric acid is being increasingly preferred over other toxic substances as they can result in harming human health to a large extent. Moreover, the long-term effect of toxic cleaners on pregnant women is expected to drive the demand for such alternatives.
Rising consumer demand for green chemicals, particularly in detergents & cleaners, on account of their harsh effects on human health as well as the environment, is expected to drive the demand for the chemical. Moreover, growing awareness regarding hygiene is anticipated to augment market growth over the projected period.
Research & development on the chemical is likely to increase its application scope such as its use as a crosslinking agent. Citric acid and glycerol polymerise to form a thermoset resin, which is soluble in water and degrades rapidly in the environment. This polymer can be further used with metals and glass to produce rigid plastic products such as laptops, tables, and lamps.
Segmentation By Region
• North America
• Asia Pacific
• Central and South America
North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific together accounted for over 80% of the global citric acid consumption in 2016. The presence of a large food industry in these regions has resulted in high demand for the product.
The presence of a robust manufacturing base in Asia Pacific coupled with significant domestic demand for the product is expected to result in the region witnessing rapid volume growth over the projected period at a CAGR of 4.6%. Moreover, rising demand for citric acid in daily food application is expected to augment its growth over the next few years.
The global market is fragmented in nature owing to the presence of numerous manufacturers across the world. The key producers include Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Cargill, COFCO Biochemical (Anhui), Gadot Biochemical Industries, Jungbunzlauer, and Citrique Belge.
Companies are focusing on research for the development of innovative products as well as increasing the scope of application in different fields. Moreover, they are strategically expanding their market presence through collaboration with distributors.
Research Support Specialist, USA