The global riboflavin market was valued at USD 13.46 billion in 2022. It is expected to reach USD 23.34 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.30% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
A nutrient necessary for the body's metabolism is riboflavin. This vitamin deficiency can hamper the metabolism of other nutrients. Reduced levels of flavin coenzymes will be present in those who suffer from this deficiency. They might also get anemia or cataracts. Riboflavin has nutritional advantages but can also have several harmful side effects. Vitamin B2, usually referred to as riboflavin can be found in food and is also available as a nutritional supplement. Flavin mononucleotide and flavin adenine dinucleotide are two important coenzymes formed due to their synthesis. The pharmaceutical industry uses vitamin B2 to create B-complex vitamins, vitamin B2 tablets, vitamin B2 capsules, and multivitamin and multimineral supplements.
Fortification of foods is now done to promote health and wellness rather than in the past to prevent micronutrient malnutrition. Fortification offers opportunities for manufacturers to enhance the value of their product categories by increasing baked food's better-for-you characteristics. According to the Food Fortification Initiative, a global organization that aids national leaders in promoting, organizing, implementing, and overseeing the fortification of industrially milled flour, maize flour, and rice, about 31% of the world's wheat flour is fortified. Iron, zinc, and B vitamins (folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6) are the most frequently present.
Numerous government initiatives are being implemented to increase the consumption of fortified foods and beverages, particularly in developing nations. Manufacturers are actively expanding their product offerings with the fortification of riboflavin to meet the ongoing consumer demand due to rising consumer demand for fortified foods and beverages with bioactive and essential vitamins and rising consumer awareness regarding vitamin B2/riboflavin deficiency. As a result, the primary driver of the market's expansion is the rise in the consumption of fortified foods and beverages, fueled by consumers' high demand for the bioactive ingredients they contain, such as Vitamin B2/riboflavin.
The numerous uses of riboflavin/vitamin B2, which span from the food processing sector to the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and animal feed industries, along with growing consumer awareness of its advantages, have played a crucial role and registered a significant number of product launches across various end-user industries, which has in turn significantly sped up the growth of the market. For example, the South Korean candy manufacturer L-GA entered the vitamins, minerals, and supplements (VMS) market in 2019 with the release of its most recent product, a line of candy vitamins dubbed MultiVita C365 that was fortified with the B2/riboflavin, B6, and C vitamins. In addition, the pharmaceutical industry has used vitamin B2 in developing multivitamin and multimineral supplements, B-complex vitamins, vitamin B2 capsules, and vitamin B2 tablets in various dosage forms due to the investment in research and development. Further, riboflavin is widely used to enrich animal feed and create personal care products.
Due to the high demand for natural ingredients, vitamin and mineral development and commercial aspects are complicated, expensive, and uncertain. Several factors, including technological developments, consumer demand, and governmental or regulatory frameworks, influence the success of product development. Riboflavin can be produced in large quantities both through chemical synthesis and fermentation. The fermentation process makes it possible to produce vitamin B2 in just one step at a low cost.
On the other hand, chemical processes involve many steps and are expensive. Riboflavin is currently produced through fermentation rather than chemical synthesis because it is more practical from an economic and environmental standpoint. Additionally, due to the growing popularity of natural ingredients, ingredient producers have made significant investments in R&D and processing machinery, raising the cost of naturally sourced vitamin and mineral ingredients like riboflavin. This makes it challenging for the producers of packaged foods to utilize it, ultimately impeding potential market expansion.
In the last few years, there has been a significant increase in organic poultry production to meet the rising demand from consumers for organic eggs and meat. Most of the riboflavin currently on the market, specifically Vitamin B2 (80% grade), is used as a feed additive and is created by fermentation with genetically modified strains. Furthermore, pigs and chickens need riboflavin as a nutrient to grow. Increased mortality results from shortages because they affect the nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and sex organs. Vitamin B2 is added to animal feed because cereals are too deficient. This demonstrates the industry's need for riboflavin in animal feed. Therefore, riboflavin has potential and will be a promising market as organic livestock and poultry production grows during the forecast period.
The global riboflavin market is segmented by source, form, and application.
The global riboflavin market is bifurcated into chemical synthesis and fermentation.
There are mainly three methods for producing riboflavin: total chemical synthesis, chemical semi-synthesis, and microbial fermentation. The lengthy and time-consuming total chemical synthesis of riboflavin starts with D-ribose or glucose. It involves 6–9 chemical reactions, including oxidation, displacement, transposition, acidification, lactonization, reduction, condensation, coupling, and cyclization. Chemical synthesis is not only expensive but also risky for the environment. Additionally, the finished products frequently have toxicity-leveled impurities that are challenging to remove. In order to ensure maximum output with a minimal impact on the environment, ingredient manufacturers are gradually replacing total chemical synthesis with a microbial fermentation strategy.
Nowadays, microbial fermentation alone—without the aid of chemical synthesis—accomplishes the industrial production of riboflavin. The fermentation process makes it possible to produce vitamin B2 in just one step at a low cost. On the other hand, chemical processes involve many steps and are expensive. As a result, the fermentation-based manufacture of riboflavin, which is more advantageous from an economic and environmental perspective, has replaced the chemical synthesis of vitamin B2 from ribose.
The global riboflavin market is bifurcated into powder and liquid.
The powder segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.70% during the forecast period. Riboflavin participates in various physiological functions and is necessary for the healthy growth of blood cells, the brain, the skin, and the lining of the digestive tract. Riboflavin is most frequently consumed to treat migraines, prevent riboflavin deficiency, and maintain healthy blood homocysteine levels. For food coloring and fortification, riboflavin is typically a yellow to orange-yellow crystalline powder with a faint odor.
The global riboflavin market is bifurcated into food and beverages, dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, animal feed, and personal care.
The animal feed segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.47% during the forecast period. Animals' metabolism depends heavily on riboflavin, which is also essential for tissue repair, especially in the nervous system, eyes, and mouth. In addition, it is necessary for proper digestion and energy production, as well as for growth and embryo development. Most of the time, recombinant microorganisms produce it (Candida famata, Bacillus subtilis, and Ashbya gossypii). Grazing animals can synthesize vitamin B2 if given a lot of green diets, and legumes are beneficial in this process. Other farm animals, like swine and poultry, cannot produce their riboflavin and therefore require a sufficient supply in their diet. Although this vitamin is frequently found in grains, it is not always present in a way that makes it simple to use and absorb. In order to optimize diet compositions and meet the needs of contemporary poultry and livestock production, the balance of minerals and vitamins in the diets of poultry and other animals has become increasingly crucial.
One of the eight essential B vitamins, vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, aids in the body's conversion of food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. These B vitamins, also known as B-complex, are important for a healthy liver, skin, hair, and eyes and for properly operating the nervous system. They also aid in the body's fat and protein metabolism. Furthermore, riboflavin gives the body energy and functions as an antioxidant to combat harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals can harm cells and DNA, speeding up aging and developing diseases like cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants like riboflavin are frequently used in dietary supplements and other nutraceutical products because they can combat free radicals and possibly lessen or help prevent some of the damage they cause.
The global riboflavin market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant contributor to the global riboflavin market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.97% during the forecast period. Mainland China is one of the world's largest markets for dietary supplements, with well over 350 million middle-class consumers. The Chinese middle class's rising disposable incomes and growing health consciousness have fueled demand for fortified foods and beverages that include vitamins and minerals, among other nutrients. Over the past few years, this demand has fueled the growth of the riboflavin market in China. In addition, the demand for vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin supplements, has increased due to rising consumer awareness about nutritional products that strengthen memory, regulate blood pressure, and boost energy. By offering candy vitamins called MultiVita C365, which is enriched with vitamins B2, B6, and C for energy production in the body, the formation of connective tissue, and amino acid metabolism, manufacturers like L-GA, who work in the confectionery sector, are foraying into the vitamins, minerals, and supplements space.
Additionally, current governmental initiatives significantly impact China's animal feed additive market. One of the main factors propelling the growth of animal feed additives like riboflavin in the market is the nation's efforts to modernize and find efficiency in its structure and practices, as well as the rising demand for meat and animal products to meet the protein needs of the growing population.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.10% during the forecast period. Among the most prevalent illnesses in the nation are anemia, chronic diarrhea, and migraines. As a result of their increased awareness, Germans are choosing fortified foods, beverages, and supplements, which in turn is driving the demand for the riboflavin ingredients used in these products. Further, the German Migraine and Headache Society (DMKG) reported that headaches are very common. More than 10 million people in Germany alone suffer from migraines, and at least 3 million daily experience chronic headaches. The demand for vitamin and mineral components like riboflavin for functional and fortified food, beverages, and supplements is continuously increasing as Germany's aging population consumes more nutritious products due to growing health concerns. Additionally, a sizable increase in vegan consumers drives the market's expansion.
The United States has been one of the critical markets for riboflavin throughout North America, paving the way for the nutrient fortification of chicken and cattle feed. Rapid urbanization, industrialization, product development, and technological advancements have made this possible, particularly in the animal feed industry. Additionally, rising per-capita income, rising health awareness among the populace, and a wide range of applications have contributed to the industry's expansion. Meat, eggs, salmon, and dairy products are a few of the common riboflavin food sources in the nation. However, there has been increased pressure on food ingredient producers like BASF SE, MTC Industries Inc., and DSM to invest in research and development and introduce plant-based riboflavin ingredients for numerous industrial applications, including food and beverages, personal care products, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, and animal feed. This is due to the growing consumer preferences for veganism and vegetarianism across the globe.
Brazil is the most profitable market for riboflavin in South America due to its expanding use in applications centered on the food, beverage, and personal care industries. Sales of organic, fortified/functional, naturally healthy food and beverages and alternative products for food intolerances totaled an estimated BRL 102.3 billion in Brazil in 2019, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Comparing this to the BRL 94.67 billion sales revenue from the previous year, there has been an increase of about 8%. Due to the rising demand for functional foods and dietary supplements over the past few years, Brazil has experienced strong growth in the vitamin and mineral ingredients market. In addition, a growing better-educated middle class with rising disposable income has become more interested in nutrition products as a lifestyle accessory. As a means of living healthier, longer lives as the nation's wealth gap has been closing. Growing urbanization also translates into busier lifestyles and a greater reliance on quick meals that are nutrient-dense and aid in sustained sustenance.
The increased demand for riboflavin-infused supplements in South Africa is primarily driven by the vitamin's multi-utility, widely utilized across all market sectors. Due to the increased vitamin deficiency in most adults and infants, riboflavin is consumed through medications. Furthermore, riboflavin is a coloring, fortifying, and nutritive component in various processed foods. Additionally, the country's beauty and personal care industry has been reliant on ingredient suppliers who provide naturally sourced vitamins and minerals to be added to a variety of haircare, skincare, and body care products, including creams and lotions, shampoos and conditioners, serums, toners, exfoliants, masks, and balms.
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