The Total Addressable Market (TAM) for lactic acid was valued at USD 2.7 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 5.26 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 7.7% during the forecast period (2022–2030). Lactic acid is one of the more well-known organic acids with various industrial uses. The food, chemical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industries use this product extensively. A large group of good bacteria with probiotic properties is called lactic acid bacteria, and this product is one of them. This acid is necessary to prepare fermented dairy products, vegetable pickling, and curing fish, meat, and sausages.
Lactic acid is a crucial component of foods that have gone through fermentation, such as yogurt, butter, and canned vegetables. Still, it is also used in pickled vegetables and olives as a preservative and acidulant. There are many applications for this naturally occurring organic acid in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, chemical, and industrial fields. Carbohydrates from various sources, such as sugarcane and corn starch, are the most frequently used feedstock. Unlike mineral acids, organic acids like formic and lactic acid do not completely dissociate in water.
Get more information on this report Download Sample Report
Growth of the Personal Care and Cosmetics Sector
Due to its many properties, including pH regulation, antimicrobial activity, and moisture binding, lactic acid is used in various personal care products, including shampoos, creams, and other body care formulations. Additionally, it increases the skin-lightening effects, advances collagen and elastin synthesis, and quickens cell renewal and exfoliation. The global cosmetics market is driven by changing lifestyles, a general awareness of improving one's appearance, and rising GDP in numerous nations. The growth can be attributed to the development of convenient and user-friendly personal care and cosmetic products. Major cosmetics producers are accelerating global sales by investing in R&D, implementing new product branding, and employing other advertising strategies. Innovative strategies, such as new product launches and packaging designs, have been adopted by manufacturing companies to boost the sales of cosmetic products.
Fast-Growing Pharmaceutical Industry
Pharmaceutical products use lactic acid as a natural body component, pH regulator, metal sequestering intermediate, and chiral intermediate. The last years have seen a rapid expansion of the pharmaceutical industry due to ongoing scientific and technological advancements. The demand for lactic acid in the industry is anticipated to increase over the forecast period due to rising consumer demand for pharmaceutical-grade creams and medications and the expansion of the pharmaceutical industry. Since the pharmaceutical industry has been the top-performing and most technologically advanced sector in the region over the past few years, it benefits many European nations. Over the forecast period, this is anticipated to fuel the lactic acid market's expansion in Europe.
Volatility In the Prices of Raw Materials
It is anticipated that changes in starch prices due to variations in production yield will affect lactic acid prices. The goal of lactic acid producers has been to increase efficiency while reducing environmental waste. Businesses like Cargill, Inc. are concentrating on creating novel processes to lower the number of raw materials needed, thereby lowering the production of environmentally hazardous by-products. Due to rising energy and packaging costs, lactic acid prices are predicted to increase in the upcoming years. In the forthcoming years, it is also anticipated that changes in the price of raw materials will hurt product prices. As a result, many businesses are concentrating on creating procedures that use inexpensive raw materials at low costs.
Multiple Functionalities of Lactic Acid
Lactic and polylactic acids are vital catalysts used in processing many industrial goods. These acids are typically used in bulk industrial applications like food and beverage, biopolymers, textiles, packaging, and personal care and cosmetics. Due to its rising use as a safer alternative to plastics and toxic chemicals, particularly in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries, the market for lactic acid has experienced significant growth.
In addition, there is an increased demand for biopolymers and polylactic acid-based ingredients in personal care and cosmetic products. Lactic acid is preferred over synthetic chemicals in the food and beverage industry because they change product flavor, texture, or other qualities to lengthen their shelf life. Lactic acids are used in the dairy industry to coagulate milk and create cheese flavors. In contrast, lactic acid is used in brewing to increase yield by enhancing starch conversion in beer.
The global lactic acid market is segmented by raw material, application, and end-user.
The global market is bifurcated based on raw materials into corn, sugarcane, cassava, and other crops.
The sugarcane segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.1% during the forecast period. Sugarcane makes a significant contribution to the biochemical and food industries as well as to the development of bioplastics. Polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastics are created using various sources as raw materials, such as European sugar beet and Thai sugarcane. Moreover, a significant feedstock used to produce lactic acid and its derivatives is raw sugar extracted from sugarcane or sugar beet. While Thailand and Brazil have ideal conditions for sugarcane cultivation, Europe has excellent farmland for sugar beet production. Due to numerous R&D projects being carried out to create new production processes to support the production of bioplastics and biochemicals made from sustainable feedstock, sugarcane-based lactic acid is likely to experience high demand in the global market.
Lactic acid has experienced a tremendous increase due to its importance as a raw material in biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) production. It is typically produced using one of two methods: biotechnological fermentation or chemical synthesis. Since it is affordable, renewable, and naturally abundant, starchy material like corn is used in biotechnological fermentation to produce lactic acid. Additionally, over the forecast period, there is expected to be an increase in corn-based lactic acid products due to a limited supply of petrochemical feedstock and rising environmental concerns. Despite having high production costs, yeast extract is one of the most frequently used ingredients in producing lactic acid. In this case, corn steep liquor (CSL), a by-product of the corn steeping procedure, is utilized in place of yeast extract.
Based on application, the global market is bifurcated into food and beverages, personal care, pharmaceuticals, and PLA.
The Polylactic Acid (PLA) segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.6% during the forecast period. The packaging, textiles, 3D printing filaments, agriculture, and packaging industries all use polylactic acid extensively. PLA is a good material for packaging because it has distinct thermal and mechanical characteristics. The automotive industry's continued expansion, rising consumer demand for biodegradable plastics, and increasing demand from end-use industries are the primary market drivers for the PLA application segment. The majority of disposable cutlery and food containers that can be microwaved are made of polylactic acid. Global demand for polylactic acid is positively influenced by several advantageous properties, including enhanced aesthetic appeal, resistance to grease and oil, and better printability.
Due to its growing use in the meat, poultry, and seafood industries and its capacity to extend shelf life and improve flavor by inhibiting the growth of pathogenic microorganisms in food products, lactic acid is expected to see an increase in demand in the food and beverage industry. In addition to serving as a preservative, lactic acid has several other uses, such as regulating pH, adding flavor, and enhancing anti-microbial quality. Over the forecast period, this is anticipated to increase product demand. Due to the growing use of lactic acid salts as preservatives and acidulants, the demand for lactic acid has increased dramatically in China.
Based on end-users, the global market is bifurcated into packaging, textile, agriculture, electronics, automotive, biomedical, and others.
The agriculture segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.2% during the forecast period. The integration of a timed-release fertilizer in polylactic acid sheets or molded forms, as well as biodegradable plant clips, are examples of how polylactic acid is used in agricultural applications. In recent years, agriculture only made up a small portion of the market for polylactic acid-based products. Still, applications like mulch films made of polylactic acid are expected to grow. Fruit and vegetable cultivation uses mulch films extensively. The advantage of PLA is that it can completely biodegrade within a single growing season, and its mechanical properties are comparable to those of current mulch film products.
Many interior vehicle components, including interior trim, under-the-hood parts, and engine components, are made from lightweight materials in the transportation and automotive industries. The vehicle's performance is improved, and its weight is decreased thanks to the lightweight components. As a result, there is a rise in the demand for rigid, environmentally friendly bioplastic materials, which drives up the price of PLA.
The global lactic acid market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America Dominates the Global Market
Regional Growth Insights Request Sample Pages
North America is the most significant global lactic acid market shareholder and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.0% during the forecast period. The fastest-growing market in North America is polylactic acid, followed by the food and beverage, industrial, personal care, and pharmaceutical industries. The lactic acid market in North America is anticipated to be driven by the expansion of the pharmaceutical and personal care industries. Additionally, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry's growth due to rising healthcare costs is expected to affect market expansion positively. Due to numerous personal care and cosmetic companies, the lactic acid market in North America is anticipated to expand. The high demand for polylactic acid (PLA) in packaging applications and U.S. government initiatives to reduce carbon footprint is anticipated to propel the market's growth over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.3% during the forecast period. Over the forecast period, market share is anticipated to rise due to the personal care industries' strong manufacturing bases in China, Japan, and India and government initiatives to support infrastructure development. Rapid industrialization and rising FDI will also foster market expansion. In addition, the expansion of the food and beverage industries in China and India is anticipated to be fueled by increasing domestic consumption and technological advancements. The lactic acid market is predicted to grow in the Asia-Pacific region due to the expansion of the pharmaceutical sector in nations like China and India. Additionally, it is anticipated that the expansion of the industry will be sparked by growth in the pharmaceutical sector in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Due to a solid manufacturing base for the cosmetics industry in Europe and rising demand for the substance in countries like Germany, Italy, France, and the U.K., it is anticipated that lactic acid demand in Europe will rise over the forecast period. It is anticipated that numerous manufacturers, including Plastipak and DSM, will increase biodegradable plastic packaging materials, increasing demand for PLA and boosting the lactic acid market. Developing new color palettes and skin-specific treatments in Europe drives the cosmetics industry. The use of sun protection products has increased in European nations due to growing concerns about skin cancer and exposure to harmful rays. Additional factors supporting the expansion of the region's cosmetics industry include an increase in the number of distribution chains for cosmetics and a growing consumer demand for natural cosmetics.
One of the critical markets for the personal care and cosmetics sector is considered to be Brazil. FMCG companies are expected to increase their production capacity due to Brazil's expanding personal care market and rising spending on cosmetics and personal care items. Over the forecast period, high demand for personal care due to rising per capita income and an increase in new product launches is anticipated to drive market growth. Additionally, the region's rising spending on personal care products is expected to offer the lactic acid market tremendous growth potential. Over the forecast period, a young, active population with high purchasing power is anticipated to support market expansion. International investors have many growth opportunities in the Middle Eastern food and beverage sector.
The global lactic acid market’s major key players are BASF SE, Cargill, COFCO Biochemical, Corbion, Danimer Scientific, DOW, DuPont, Futerro, FoodChem International, Galactic, Godavari Bio-refineries, Henan Jindan Lactic Acid Technology, Jungbunzlauer, Musashino Chemical, ProAgro GmbH, Qingdao Abel Technology, Spectrum Chemicals, Sulzer, TEIJIN LIMITED, Unitika, Vaishnavi Biotech, and Vigon International.