The global microbial culture market was valued at USD 1893 million in 2021 and is expected to grow to USD 2912 million by 2030. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% during the forecast period (2022–2030). Microbial culture is gaining popularity among manufacturers due to the growing acceptance of the bio-preservation concept. Bio-preservation is an attractive alternative to chemical and physical preservation. Food fermentation offers excellent models for studying the basic principles and mechanisms of bio-preservation, and traditional fermentations may be valuable resources for new strains for bio-preservation.
In recent years, probiotic cultures have become very popular, with many uses in the food industry. This is because consumers are becoming more aware of them, and the convenience trend is still going strong. Recently, functional foods and drinks with probiotics have become more popular on the market because they contain biologically active ingredients that are good for your health in more ways than just nutrition. People are buying more probiotic products that do not come from dairy because they have less lactose and cholesterol and do not need to be kept cold.
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Fermentation technology is often used to make compounds that are important to the economy and have uses in the energy, pharmaceutical, chemical, and food industries. Biotechnological aspects of the industrialization of traditional fermented foods give us the chance to look into these kinds of technological interventions or better ways to make the foods and improve their quality. The cost of the product and the cost of making it goes down when the microbes are more productive. So, it is one of the important things to think about. Most of the time, increasing productivity can be done by either improving the strain or optimizing the process parameters. Biotechnological techniques are being used quickly to find new molecules and microorganisms or to improve the genes of known species, which is speeding up the process of making new foods.
Traditional biotechnology is helpful in making functional foods, enhancing flavors, bio-preserving foods, making probiotics, and changing enzymes in foods. The field of fermented foods has an advantage because of new technologies in food biotechnology, such as genetic engineering. Microorganisms that have been changed genetically and used as starter cultures in food fermentation are safe and considered to be good food ingredients. Microbes of interest could be made in large quantities because of improvements in organic chemistry and metabolic engineering. For efficient microbial pigment production, the right fermentation strategies are used, conditions are changed to make them better for making pigments, low-cost processes and extraction processes are developed, and co-pigmentation strategies are used.
With the addition of new fermented products, the food processing industry is growing. This is because customers want products that are different from each other and have a longer shelf life. Low-alcohol beer is very popular in Europe, and the United States is also moving toward more low-alcohol options. Consumers are becoming more aware of how they drink and are trying to make healthier choices. They also want tasty alternatives to alcohol. So, the players are bringing in cultures that are only found in low-alcohol beers.
Also, the need for thermophilic dairy applications like stirred, set, drinkable, and concentrated yogurt is growing. Chr. Hansen made a line of thermophilic cultures called YoFlex® that work well with yogurt and fermented milk. For dairy companies that are having trouble growing their share of the cold yogurt market, ambient yogurt is a new way to grow.
Putting microbial cultures on the market is hard because of problems with production, rules, storage, etc. After careful selection and under strict control, microbial food cultures are made in a factory setting. To make sure that people, animals, and the environment are as safe as possible, there are rules about how to handle and move bacterial or fungal cultures.
For dairy companies that are having trouble growing their share of the cold yogurt market, ambient yogurt is a new way to grow. Ambient yogurt, which is yogurt that is at room temperature, is the newest thing to come out of China, and it has become more popular in recent years. This category has a lot of potentials that has not been used yet, especially in places where customers have trouble keeping things cool. When compared to cold chain distribution, shipping yogurt that does not need to be kept cold costs less and is less complicated, this makes exporting easier. So, it makes the customers' potential market bigger.
People think of microbial food cultures and probiotics as natural food ingredients that are used for fermentation in products like bread and milk. So, they are treated as allowed ingredients all over the world. But as technology improved and labs made more cultures for sale, regulatory bodies like the World Health Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the European Food and Feed Cultures Association (EFFCA), and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) made rules about how microbial cultures should be grown, stored, and moved.
In the United States, Section 409 of the Food Additives Amendment of 1958 of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act governs how microbial cultures are made and kept under controlled environmental conditions. The US Food and Agricultural Organization did a lot of research and development, which included using different kinds of lyoprotectants as microbial cultures. This means that culture manufacturers cannot use lyoprotectants in higher concentrations than what is allowed, which slows the market growth.
In the microbial culture market, innovation is a common way to gain a competitive edge. More and more, manufacturers are putting more money into research and development to come up with new features, ways to use them, etc. Owing to these new ideas, there is now more competition in the market. For example, DuPont has made a special culture for plant-based products because people are becoming more interested in them.
Most of the big players have their own channels for getting their products to customers. Players show off their products at different events and exhibitions to promote them and show off what makes them unique. As a way to stay ahead of the competition, companies are coming up with strong plans, like forming partnerships with companies that use their products. There are a lot of big and small players in the market, so industries that use the products have a lot of choices. Still, the ratio of firms to end-users is lower than the ratio of firms to end-users. Thus, the global microbial culture market is opening a wide range of opportunities for professionals in the biotechnology field.
The global microbial culture market share is segmented by product type and by end-user industry.
The by-product segmentation is further classified into starter cultures and adjunct & aroma cultures, where the starter cultures dominate the said market.
In recent years, the number of people who eat fermented foods has gone up a lot. This is because fermented foods have many benefits that go far beyond their shelf life, ability to keep, and taste. For precise and predictable fermentation, most fermented foods use starter cultures. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeast have been studied a lot and are used as starters in many industries that make fermented foods, like dairy, meat, sourdough, vegetables, etc., which is why it dominates the microbial culture market with a market value of USD 1052 million in 2021 and is growing to USD 1497 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 4%.
Cultures that are added to foods, like cheese, give them their unique textures or make them better. Aroma cultures also help improve the taste of cheese and speed up the process of aging it. Demand from the dairy industry is growing around the world in terms of quantity, quality, and variety. This is driving the need for adjunct culture, which accounted for a market value of USD 461 million in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 703 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 5%.
The global microbial culture market, when segmented by the end-user industries, is further classified into dairy and beverages, where the dairy segment dominates the overall market share.
In this segment, we look at pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, and other fermented fruits and vegetables. Fermented fruits and vegetables are a big part of food markets right now, especially traditional or ethnic food markets. Also, the demand for fermented fruit and vegetables is growing in European markets. This is because people think that this method of preserving food is natural and healthy. So, manufacturers are moving more and more toward making more microbial cultures for use in the fruits and vegetable market, which is why the said segment is dominating the global microbial culture market with a market value of USD 1304 million in 2021 and is growing to USD million by 2030 at a CAGR of 5%.
People are getting more and more used to buying probiotic drinks like kombucha and bottled water. The popularity of probiotic drinks shows that people are becoming more open to probiotic benefits from sources other than dairy. This has led to a rise in the use of microbial cultures in the beverage industry, which has led the market to account for a market value of USD 173 million in 2021 and is expected to reach USD million by 2030 at a CAGR of 9%.
The global microbial culture market share is primarily divided into four regions, namely North America, South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, where Europe dominates the microbial culture market.
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In recent years, the microbial cultures market has seen a big increase in revenue. This is due to the strong demand for probiotics and functional beverages in the country. Manufacturers are investing more and more in growing their production capacity to stay ahead of the competition, which is why the region accounted for a market value of USD 363 million in 2021 and is expected to reach USD million by 2030 at a CAGR of 4%.
South America is one of the regions that has a substantial market share that accounts for USD 556 million in 2021 and is anticipated to reach USD million in 2030 at a CAGR of 4%.
Europe is the leading region in terms of revenue generation from the microbial culture market globally. It has all the necessary facilities and benefits offered by its governments which is why it has a market value of USD 575 million in 2021 and is growing to USD million by 2030 at a CAGR of 7%.
Asia being one of the most developing and economically strong regions in recent times has a significant market share with a market value of USD 216 million in 2021 and is growing to USD million by 2030 at a CAGR of 5%.