Microcrystalline cellulose is a naturally occurring polymer obtained by refining wood pulp. The alpha-cellulose in wood pulp is treated in the production of microcrystalline cellulose, which makes it perfect for use in anti-caking applications, emulsifier, and texturizer. Microcrystalline cellulose is thus also ideal for use as a bulking agent and fat substitute, as it is insoluble in most solvents, including mild acids. Being a cellulose derivative, it is unaffected by the digestion process in humans and has thus become a popular bulking agent in a variety of consumables, including food and pharmaceutical products.
According to Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global microcrystalline cellulose market is expected to reach a valuation of US$936.3 mn by 2020. The market has followed a steady growth trajectory in recent years and is expected to achieve close to 50% growth within the last six years of the ongoing decade.
Steady Expansion of Food and Beverage Industry Set to Benefit Microcrystalline Cellulose Market
One of the prime drivers for the global microcrystalline cellulose market is the rapid growth of the global food and beverage industry in recent years. The global microcrystalline cellulose market has benefited from the rising demand for international as well as domestic transfer of food products due to the demands of globalization.
The rising demand for packaged food products from affluent consumers in urban centers has played a major role in the growing demand for microcrystalline cellulose from the food and beverage industry. Packaged foods need to be kept fresh for longer periods than conventionally required, making consistent bulking, texturizing, and anti-caking agents a key requirement. This is likely to remain a key driver for the global microcrystalline cellulose market in the coming years due to the rapid urbanization in emerging countries in Asia Pacific and the consequent changes in the local food and beverage industry.
The pharmaceutical industry’s steady growth in developed countries has also been important for the global microcrystalline cellulose market. Its application as an excipient in several pharmaceutical formulations is likely to remain a key driver for the global microcrystalline cellulose market in the coming years, as the increasing global geriatric population, among other factors, has propelled the need for consistent product development in the pharmaceuticals sector.
Rising Demand from Emerging Regions could Upset North America’s Dominance
The global microcrystalline cellulose market is currently dominated by North America, due largely to the steady technological development in the region’s food and pharmaceutical industries, which has made it easier for companies in the region to adopt advances at a regular basis. The rising demand for low-fat foods from health-conscious consumers in North America is likely to play a key role in the growth of the microcrystalline cellulose market in the region.
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The pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries have also undergone rapid growth in emerging countries in the last few years. Rapid urbanization in countries such as Mexico, South Africa, India, South Korea, China, Thailand, Brazil, and Argentina is likely to raise the demand for packaged food in these regions, indirectly propelling the microcrystalline cellulose market. The pharmaceutical industry has also posted strong results in developing regions due to the steady availability of private as well as government funding. The rising urban as well as geriatric population in emerging economies is thus likely to remain a key driver for the global microcrystalline cellulose market.
Leading players in the global microcrystalline cellulose market include FMC Corporation, Asahi Kasei Corporation, Accent Microcell Pvt. Ltd., J. RETTENMAIER & SÖHNE GmbH + Co KG, Juku Orchem Pvt. Ltd., Sigachi Industrial Pvt. Ltd., Libraw Pharma, Avantor Performance Materials Inc., and DFE Pharma GmbH & Co. KG.
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