The global microcrystalline cellulose market size was valued at USD 1140.62 million in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 2044.66 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) is synthesized by reacting alpha-cellulose with mineral acids to remove impurities and partially depolymerize the cellulose. There is typically less than 400 degrees of polymerization, and about 10% of the material has a particle size of 5 m or less. MCC appears as a white, crystalline powder made of porous particles with no discernible flavor or odor. It absorbs moisture from the air and resists dissolving in water (swells when in contact with water). As a matrix former in freeze-drying, MCC is superior to sucrose and can stand in for carboxymethyl cellulose in plaque assays. The pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and beauty and personal care industries are just a few of the many that have found uses for MCC.
The pharmaceutical industry uses MCC as an additive in tablet formulations, ointments, and other topical therapeutic bases to serve as a stabilizer, binder, film-forming agent, suspension agent, and disintegrant. MCC is a vital and ubiquitous excipient in the pharmaceutical industry. It plays an essential role as a solvent and binder in pharmaceutical preparations. A further factor fueling the worldwide MCC market is the expanding pharmaceutical industry. Numerous pharmaceutical forms rely on it, including tablets, capsules, sachets, and more. The demand for MCC is anticipated to rise further in rapidly developing markets like China, Brazil, and India.
Currently, there is no suitable replacement for MCC. However, a few products excel where MCC falls short and serve particular functions. Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), kappa-carrageenan, and croscarmellose sodium are just some products (CCS). CMC is used in the food and beverage industry to maintain the consistency of emulsions in things like ice cream and baked goods. CMC has many uses in the pharmaceutical industry, including as a disintegrant, stabilizer, binder, and suspension agent. Guar gum, a plant-based gum used in the food and beverage industry, can also be used in ice creams and other dairy products. However, the current high market prices of guar gum can dampen its demand. If the price of guar gum drops, it could slow the expansion of the MCC industry. Given the current state of affairs, introducing a viable alternative to MCC is unlikely to affect the market significantly.
At present, wood pulp is used in the production of MCC. Inexpensive MCC is difficult to produce using wood. MCC made from non-wood sources, such as agricultural waste, have a smaller or nonexistent ecological footprint than MCC made from trees. Researchers are developing novel production methods to make MCC from materials other than wood. In addition, the cost of non-wood sources is lower than that of wood ones. Thus, non-wood-based MCC has a lower total production cost and a more competitive selling price. The global MCC market is expected to grow due to the price reduction of MCC, which will lead to increased applications or higher volume consumption in various segments.
The global microcrystalline cellulose market is segmented by raw material and application.
Based on raw material, the global market is bifurcated into wood-based and non-wood based.
The non-wood-based segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow during the forecast period. It is becoming increasingly common for companies to produce MCC from materials other than wood. MCC production methods are being developed, and numerous non-wood alternatives are being studied. Wood-based MCC is more expensive than MCC made from other sources because of the high cost of lumber, while agricultural waste can be obtained for pennies on the dollar and is used in producing non-wood-based MCC. Alternative non-wood sources are readily available and more environmentally friendly, so microcrystalline cellulose derived from these sources is becoming increasingly popular. Microcrystalline cellulose is derived from non-woody lignocellulosic materials. As a result, the demand for MCC made from materials other than wood is anticipated to increase.
Based on application, the global market is bifurcated into pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, and personal care and cosmetics.
The pharmaceutical segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow during the forecast period. Many dosage forms, including immediate-release tablets and liquids, sustained-release multiparticulates and matrix tablets, topical formulations, chewable and effervescent tablets, and effervescent tablets, are beginning to incorporate MCC. Because of this, the pharmaceutical industry has experienced the fastest growth rate. Excipients and APIs like microcrystalline cellulose have found widespread use in the pharmaceutical industry. Ingredients called "excipients" are used in pharmaceutical preparations. Excipients are added to drugs and medicines to help with their weight, consistency, and volume, which in turn help with their dose accuracy, solubility, and stability. During the direct tableting process, excipients are helpful due to their lubrication and disintegrant properties. Microcrystalline cellulose can bind many materials, including poorly soluble active pharmaceutical ingredients, in relatively small amounts. Microcrystalline cellulose has a broad particle size distribution, allowing optimal packing density and material coverage.
The global microcrystalline cellulose market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Europe Dominates the Global Market
Europe is the most significant shareholder in the global microcrystalline cellulose market and is expected to grow during the forecast period. Research and development spending is on the rise in Europe, as are investments in clinical trials, drug development, and the dogged efforts of pharmaceutical companies to provide patients with cutting-edge medicines. The processed food sector, and by extension the MCC market, is thriving thanks to the improving economy and rising employment rate. Consumers' increasing health awareness has resulted in a rise in the demand for nutritious foods. As the pharmaceutical industry grows and more pharmaceutical products are manufactured massively, MCC becomes an increasingly relevant company. In the pharmaceutical industry, MCC is widely used as a binder/diluent in the direct-compression and wet-granulation processes for producing oral tablets and capsules.
Asia-Pacific is expected to grow during the forecast period. The expansion of the microcrystalline cellulose market has been helped by the low cost of labor and raw materials, especially in developing countries like China and India. Increased demand for MCC can be attributed to the rising popularity of packaged, processed, ready-to-eat, and ready-to-cook food brought about by the proliferation of active lifestyles, shifting consumption patterns, and rising levels of personal disposable income. Another factor contributing to expansion is the rising popularity of 3D printing with biodegradable bio-composites and reinforced polylactic acid. The region's massive population and constant innovations in the industry have contributed significantly to this expansion. The demand for cosmetics, especially high-end varieties, is most significant in Asia-Pacific.
In the coming years, the personal care and cosmetics market in the United States stands to benefit from consumers' growing preference for products made with plant-based ingredients. This trend in the United States is driven by consumers' increasing awareness of the dangers of using harsh chemicals on their skin and hair. It is also used in makeup and cosmetics to provide a matte finish to products like foundation, concealer, and blotting powder. Over the forecast period, global beauty brands in the country will continue to drive market growth. The processed food sector, and by extension the MCC market, is thriving thanks to the improving economy and rising employment rate.
Demand for nutritious food is rising as people become more health conscious and change their eating habits. As the pharmaceutical industry grows and more pharmaceutical products are manufactured massively, MCC becomes an increasingly relevant company. Growth opportunities are expected to be fruitful due to the significant untapped market potential in countries like Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Growing spending on drug R&D and persistent efforts by pharmaceutical companies to provide high-quality goods are the primary forces propelling the market.
List of top key global microcrystalline cellulose market companies profiled
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