The global chitosan market size was valued at USD 12.07 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 84.88 billion by 2031, with a CAGR of 24.2 % during the forecast period 2023–2031.
Chitosan is a polymer derived from lobster, crab, shrimp, and crawfish shells. Chemical or enzymatic deacetylation of chitin shells or exoskeletons of insects, crustaceans, and, therefore, the cell walls of fungus using an alkaline material such as caustic soda produces chitin. The varying amounts of chitosan in each product's staples play a key role in industrial production. Chitosan is said to be mostly derived from shrimp.
Chitosan is manufactured through the deacetylation of chitin recovered from waste crustacean shells. Since chitosan inhibits fat absorption in the digestive tract, it is widely utilized in dietary supplements. As a result of its biocompatibility and biodegradability, it is widely utilized in healthcare applications. Chitosan's anticoagulant qualities make it excellent for hemostatic wound dressings. In addition, it is utilized as a biopesticide in agriculture to limit pathogenic effects on trees and plant growth stimulants and water purification. In addition, it is utilized in polyurethane paints and coatings, organ bioprinting, and as a food preservative.
Increasing demand for chitosan as a flocculant in the water treatment industry is the primary growth driver for the chitosan market. It is an efficient coagulant for wastewater treatment. Additionally, it is employed as a chelating agent, where it readily binds to highly poisonous heavy metals found in wastewater. Due to its biodegradability and non-toxicity, chitosan is commonly employed in wastewater treatment.
The increasing demand for chitosan in dental applications is driving market expansion. Due to its anti-decay and anti-plaque qualities, it is used to create mouthwash, toothpaste, and chewing gum. It masks the disagreeable taste of the toothpaste's primary constituent, silicon oxide. Moreover, chitosan is also utilized in dental filler materials, which is anticipated to contribute to market expansion.
Chitosan is nontoxic, biodegradable, bioactive, and biocompatible. Due to these characteristics, it is utilized in water treatment, cosmetics, medical & pharmaceuticals, food & beverages, and agrochemicals. Chitosan is utilized in wastewater treatment to remove metals, harmful compounds, iron, and other contaminants by virtue of its adsorption characteristic. Utilizing chitosan for water treatment is a cost-effective, efficient, and ecologically friendly method. Chitosan's characteristics, which include bioactivity, antibacterial activity, and anti-oxidant activity, make it helpful for a variety of medical and pharmaceutical uses. It is utilized in wound ointments and medical device coatings. It is utilized in pharmaceutical applications for contact lenses and as a medication delivery agent. In the food and beverage industry, it is utilized as a nutritional supplement, preservative, and cholesterol-lowering addition. Chitosan is used in skincare and hair care products in cosmetics.
The market expansion of chitosan is anticipated to be hindered by the stringent laws governing shrimp aquaculture. In addition, shrimp peeling units and shellfish processing plants generate a substantial amount of trash, which is anticipated to impede the expansion of the chitosan market.
It is anticipated that the high cost of producing chitosan will restrict the expansion of the market. According to an analysis by Coherent Market Insights, the cost of producing chitosan of ordinary quality is between USD 8 and USD 12 per kilogram. In addition, the procedure is time-consuming and complicated due to its many phases, which is anticipated to further hinder the growth of the chitosan market.
During the forecast period, the expanding use of chitosan in the agricultural sector is anticipated to generate new market possibilities. As a result of its antifungal qualities, chitosan is utilized in fertilizers and controlled agrochemical release. In addition, increasing research & development in the field of chitosan nanoparticles to increase its use in novel applications is predicted to boost the chitosan market throughout the forecast period. In the near future, the rising output of fish, shrimp, and other aquatic species in the Asia-Pacific area is anticipated to create attractive market prospects. The National Fisheries Development Board estimates that India's total fish production for 2017-2018 will be 12.60 million metric tonnes, of which approximately 65 percent will come from the inland sector, and 50 percent will come from culture fisheries, accounting for approximately 6.3% of the global fish production.
The market for chitosan is presented with a substantial opportunity by the escalating prevalence of overweight and obesity and the growing public awareness of health issues. According to the 2013 Global Burden of Disease research, around 20% of the world's population, or approximately 2.1 billion individuals, were overweight or obese. The rising preference for organic weight loss and beauty products is a major development factor for the chitosan industry. In lieu of exercise and diets, many choose healthier alternatives such as dietary supplements, capsules & tablets, meal replacement bars & drinks, and slimming creams due to changes in lifestyle. Chitosan is utilized as a weight loss supplement because it prevents the absorption of dietary fat. It binds to fat to inhibit its accumulation within the body. Chitosan promotes weight loss without dietary or physical activity constraints. As a safer alternative to stimulant-based drugs, regarded as hazardous to human health, it does not interact with most pharmacological agents.
The global chitosan market is categorized by Source and Application.
Based on the source, the market can be segmented into squid, crab, krill, and shrimp. The shrimp segment is anticipated to register the highest growth rate, with shrimp expected to remain the most prominent source of chitosan during the forecast period. The higher availability of shrimp, aided by commercial shrimp farming, drives the growth of this segment. As per FAO-UN, farmed shrimp production reached around four million tonnes in 2018.
The chitosan market has been categorized based on application trends into water treatment, pharmaceutical and biomedical, cosmetics, food and beverage, and others. Due to rising demand from industrial, commercial, and municipal waste treatment plants, the water treatment segment was the largest among these applications. Its exceptional capacity to remove pesticides, surfactants, phenol, and polychlorinated biphenyls from wastewater enables its use as a flocculant, coagulant, and chelating agent in their purification. It is used as an antibacterial agent in the food processing, and packaging sectors is another significant use. It functions as a fungicide and provides freshness and health advantages when combined with nutritional supplements. In addition, its capacity to boost immunity, reduce blood sugar, and lower blood pressure is anticipated to be a significant demand driver in the food and beverage business.
The global chitosan market has been segmented based on geography into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and LAMEA.
In 2021, Asia-Pacific became the largest geographic market for Chitosan. Due to the strong growth of end-use industries in Japan, China, India, and South Korea, it is also anticipated to be the fastest-growing area. The region's market for chitosan is anticipated to be driven by the increasing demand for biobased goods and the favorable government environment in these counties. According to the Korea Food & Drug Administration, glucosamine and chitooligosaccharides are acceptable for usage in dietary supplements. Similarly, it is included on the Japan Food Chemical Research Foundation's list of food additives. Japan has been one of the largest manufacturers and consumers of chitosan in the Asia-Pacific region due to the abundance of raw materials and early identification of the product's benefits. Over sixty percent of the market share in Japan is generated by water treatment applications. Increasing demand from artificial skin production and wound dressing is also anticipated to positively impact growth during the forecast period.
North America has a big share of the chitosan market because countries like the United States and Canada are using more and more of it. The market for chitosan in North America is also being pushed by the growing need to clean up wastewater. During the forecast period, the growing need for potable water in a few countries is likely to increase the demand for chitosan in North America. Chitosan is being used more and more in many fields, helping the market grow. In the coming years, using chitosan in many biomedical applications is likely to be good for market participants in North America.
Europe is one of the most technologically-advanced and economically-stable regions. Improved trade relations, a blue-card network, and the availability of natural resources are some of the factors contributing to the market growth in the region. Chitosan has been identified as a suitable alternative for biopolymer nanofilms used in food and beverage packaging, and Europe is host to a flourishing food and beverage industry. As per statistics by Food & Drink, Europe, the European food and beverage industry has an annual turnover of around USD 1242 billion and provides employment to around 4.57 million people, making it one of the most prosperous sectors in this region. Growth in one of the leading applicants of chitosan is likely to result in the growth of this market in Europe.
The Latin America, Middle East, and Africa region is anticipated to witness a slightly lower growth rate as compared to other regions of this market. Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai are some of the economies that have witnessed significant growth in consumer income, which has translated into an upsurge in demand for products and services where chitosan finds application.
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