The global edible films and coatings for fruits and vegetables market size was valued at USD 754.06 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 1,363.16 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period (2022-2030). The edible coating is an eco-friendly technology applied to many products to control moisture transfer, gas exchange, or oxidation processes. The ability to insert many active substances into the polymer matrix and ingest them along with food, improving food's safety or even its nutritional and sensory qualities, is a significant benefit of employing edible films and coatings. Manufacturers are working harder to extend shelf life and enhance current packaging technology, which helps to protect food from microbial contamination and preserve it from the effects of the environment. Protein-based films have been the focus of several market breakthroughs.
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Rising Demand for Healthy Products with Extended Shelf Life
The introduction of edible films and coatings has risen due to the convenience, enhanced barrier and mechanical qualities, and extended shelf life of several packaged food and beverage products. These films and coatings satisfy consumers' demand for fresh produce while ensuring food safety and extending shelf life. Global purchasing patterns show a rising desire for natural goods, particularly among vegetarians. Edible coatings and films are emerging as one of the most acceptable and practical methods to preserve these qualities of foods as customers desire minimally processed food to ensure freshness and nutritional and functional attributes.
Recent research trends are looking at ways to avoid nutrient losses and extend shelf life due to consumer awareness of the value of a healthy diet. As a result, customers' desire for natural, safe, and waste-free products, together with the growing use of edible coatings for preservation, is anticipated to drive market growth over the forecast period.
Increasing Demand for Edible Packaging as an Alternative to Plastic Packaging
Oxo-biodegradable plastics are manufactured from regular plastics and blended with additives to simulate biodegradation. The primary outcome of oxidation is merely the fragmentation of the substance or product into tiny particles that remain in the environment. Therefore, the need for complete biodegradation of plastics drives the demand for edible films and coatings. The global market for edible films and coatings is pushed by increased demand for edible packaging, supported by a stronger emphasis on research and development.
Manufacturer and Consumer Reluctance
Surveys of consumers have shown hesitancy and mistrust toward eating their silverware or food packaging because they are used to discarding petroleum-based packaging. In addition, some customers question whether the edible packaging is as hygienic as it claims to be and whether it helps protect food from contamination. Some non-edible overwraps are typically necessary when edible films or coatings are used for sanitary reasons. This raises overall costs and discourages manufacturers from using edible coatings and films as a substitute.
Edible films and coatings must follow all applicable laws governing food products in the nations used because they are a crucial component of the edible portion of food and beverage products. Different regulatory approval across countries characterizes the market. It is possible that ingredients from the United States do not adhere to Canadian rules, which can restrain the market's growth. Methyl esters and ethyl esters of fatty acids made from edible fats and oils may be used in food safety, but only if they comply with a USFDA regulation on coatings, films, and similar compounds. Due to the existence of many regulatory agencies for food safety worldwide, various limitations exist in different nations, which may function as a market restraint.
Edible Films and Coatings Containing Bioactive
Edible films and coatings are promising systems for active ingredient carriers as they can be considered both packaging and a food component. They must fulfill specific requirements like good sensory attributes, high barrier and mechanical properties, biochemical, physicochemical, and microbial stability, safety, non-polluting nature, simple technology, and low raw material and processing cost. The addition of bioactive compounds and additives contributes to achieving these requirements to preserve the quality, safety, and sensory properties of foods. Research efforts are focused on optimizing the composition of film and coating materials to be well-processed and effective in real, pragmatic, everyday food systems.
The global edible films and coatings for fruits and vegetables market is segmented by type.
Based on type, the global edible films and coatings for fruits and vegetables market is bifurcated into protein, polysaccharides, lipids, and composites.
The polysaccharides segment is the most significant and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.03% during the forecast period. Edible films and coatings made of polysaccharides are frequently used to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, they serve as effective carriers of food additives and bioactive components, resulting in improved flavor profiles over time. The market's polysaccharides section includes chitosan, starch, alginate, cellulose, pullulan, carrageenan, and other substances. Chitosan is the optimal coating material for fresh produce because of its exceptional film-forming capabilities, antibacterial activity, and compatibility with additional components, including minerals, vitamins, and antimicrobial agents.
Sodium alginate-based films are utilized for fruits and vegetables because they help to improve mechanical characteristics, control respiration, prevent dehydration, and improve product appearance. It is also widely regarded as an environmentally acceptable alternative to traditional plastic packaging on the international market. Thus, it is projected that the market will be driven shortly by the growing awareness of environmental issues and the internationally inflated demand for fresh, healthy, additive-free, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.
Due to its benefits, such as its use as edible packaging materials rather than synthetic films, protein-based edible films have attracted much attention in recent years. Furthermore, edible films made of protein have high oxygen barrier properties even at low relative humidity. Collagen films, gluten, maize zein films, wheat gluten films, soy protein films, casein films, and mung bean protein films are the most famous varieties of protein-based edible films.
According to a study by Kester & Fennema, protein-based edible films can be used for various food products to improve their mechanical handling properties, provide physical protection, reduce moisture loss, limit oxygen absorption, lessen lipid migration, and reduce moisture loss. They can also be used as an alternative to commercial packaging materials. Over the projection period, the market for protein-based edible films and coatings will continue to benefit from improved innovation and the addition of more protein-based materials with a wide range of applications.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
The global edible films and coatings for fruits and vegetables market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global edible films and coatings for fruits and vegetables market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.37% during the forecast period. One of China's most widely utilized edible coatings on fruits and vegetables is xanthan gum, which is driving up demand for polysaccharide-based films and coatings there. Furthermore, given that China is the world leader in seaweed production, there is a significant opportunity for Chinese producers to enter the market due to the growing demand for seaweed-based films and coatings in edible package formulations.
Japanese fruits are well-known for being of the highest quality and are highly popular throughout Asia. The Government of Japan (GOJ) has been promoting the export of locally produced fruits with various programs to encourage domestic fruit production. The National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute of India in Mohali has invented non-toxic and edible composite coatings that boost food products' longevity more efficiently than traditional food preservatives.
Europe is anticipated to develop at a CAGR of 6.96%, generating USD 412.15 million during the forecast period. Companies like SaniFruit have developed edible coating solutions like SANI-RC and SANI-RC L that act as a protective barrier and generate protection against gas exchange with the exterior, reducing weight losses due to dehydration of the fruit. These solutions have been developed to minimize the cold damage of food products. The burgeoning demand for edible films in the area originates in the United Kingdom. Strong national R&D efforts have enabled numerous colleges and small businesses to harness cutting-edge technologies to create ground-breaking goods like edible packaging. Large retail chains in Germany are stocking edible coated produce, which has been given a tasteless coating and can potentially cut down on plastic packaging and fresh produce waste across the supply chain.
North America's market is studied across the US, Canada, and MEXICO. Fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly those that have been cut, are becoming more widely available in the retail food sector in the United States, creating enormous prospects for the country's edible films and coatings industry. Since ancient times, food has been coated with edible substances. Except for mineral oil, paraffin wax, and petrolatum, covered by the Food and Drugs Act and the Food and Drug Regulations, coating components are not regulated as food additives in Canada. Additionally, many Canadian groups are working hard to increase consumer and industry understanding of the proper use of coatings and prohibiting any form of food allergen in layers. Mexico has increased the number of fruits and vegetables it produces domestically, demonstrating the proportional demand for technology and additives, such as edible films and coatings, to lengthen the shelf life of the delivered items.
Brazil sells fruit to most nations in Europe and the Middle East. The Association of Brazilian Fruit Growers and Exporters (Abrafrutas) anticipates fruit sales to the Arab market. To reduce the effects and damage caused by insects, microorganisms, pre- and post-harvesting conditions during transport and preservation, and to maintain their nutritional value, edible films and coatings are increasingly being applied to fruits like oranges, bananas, and watermelons. Sufresca, an Israeli packaging startup, created edible coatings for fruits and vegetables to increase their shelf life, decrease food waste, and use less plastic.