The preservation of food is one of the oldest technologies known to man. Preservatives have successfully augmented and made food available for extended periods. Sugar and salt have been used from time immemorial to preserve food products. They are classical examples of natural food preservatives. Preservatives have, nowadays, become an indispensable part of the almost every processed food consumed, worldwide. They are the class of food additives (natural or chemical compounds) that are added to food products to restrict the growth of spoilage-causing microbes and to prevent any undesirable alterations in the organoleptic profile of foods. They, thereby, lengthen the keeping quality and shelf-life of food products. Food trade is getting increasingly globalized with consumers demanding all-round availability of seasonal and perishable foods. The global market for food preservatives is driven by the increasing demand for convenient foods and high standards of food safety and quality. The Global Food Preservative Market is expected reach USD 3001.4 million by 2023, at an estimated CAGR of 2.7% during the next five years (2018-2023), according to the Hyderabad-based market intelligence firm.
Expansion of Processed Food industry:
With the advent of refrigeration technology, food transportation became a viable trade, thereby providing the much-needed fillip to the growth of the processed food industry. Processed foods are increasingly perceived as the preferred choice of consumers in the backdrop of rapidly evolving marketplace. Modern consumers are devoid of enough time, owing to their hectic lifestyles, which is an outcome of dynamic economic development. Consumers are, thus, opting for processed food products that are safe, affordable and convenient. They are indispensably incorporated in processed food products to cater to the increasing demand for safety, higher quality, and sustainability.
The rapid evolution of global food supply chains has necessitated the use of food preservatives that enhance the keeping quality by increasing their shelf life. The taste and odor of products are kept intact with the use of preservatives that not only restrict the growth of spoilage microorganisms but also assist in maintaining the all-round availability of perishable food products. The developing economies have witnessed exponential growth in the market for processed foods, owing to the rise in discretionary incomes of the emerging middle-class. Thus, the robust growth of the industry has driven the market for them.
The rise in consumer preferences for healthier products has prompted manufacturers to reformulate their products by providing “the clean label” for customers. To meet the demand for healthy products, food processors are eliminating and replacing unsafe ingredients with healthy ingredients. Many brands have completely revamped their product portfolio by eliminating synthetic anti-microbial agents or preservatives. Consumers have shown greater interest in buying products that have recognizable names on labels, companies are, thus, incorporating natural food preservatives that can fetch higher sales, making the market increasingly sustainable in the upcoming years.
Natural food preservatives, like essential oils, spices, vinegar, new fermentates, fruit extracts, and plant extracts, are constantly assessed for their anti-microbial efficacy, in order to commercially incorporate them into processed products to create consumer-friendly labels.
The healthy-eating trends have led to higher demands for natural, non-GMO, and minimally-processed premium food products, necessitating the use of natural preservatives. However, the rising popularity of novel food preservation methods, like high-pressure processing, aseptic processing, etc., is that completely eliminate the need for food preservative, is impeding the market growth.
The Way Ahead:
Food preservatives will continue to play a contributing role in maintaining the global food security and safety. However, more R&D will be required to understand the complex interactions with the molecular components of products so as to ensure enhanced safety and quality. Moreover, the dedicated agencies are also required to tighten the framework regulating the use of them so as to ensure safe food to end-consumers.