Food binders are food additives that are added to food products for the purpose of improving the texture via thickening or binding the ingredients together. Food binders are sometimes also referred to as food fillers because of their property to increase the volume and mass of a food product, without adding any nutritional value to it. Food binders have been in traditional use since long now. Many starches found naturally act as food binders.
In culinary practices, starches, pectin, and agar-agar are commonly used as food binders, especially in desserts and sauces. Most food binders that are used are naturally derived, owing to economic feasibility and superior results. Gums are the most commonly used commercial food binders in fast food products, meat products, meat substitutes, dairy products, etc. Gums are relatively inexpensive, and deliver a product that is of superior organoleptic parameters.
The growing fast food culture is dependent on food binders.
The global fast food culture is expanding at a fast rate, especially in developing countries where increasing fast food chains and a likening towards the Western culture have created a thriving fast food culture. Food binders play an important role in fast food in more than one way. Most fast food products utilize food binders. Food binders are utilized for two major reasons. First is the improvement of texture and juiciness of a fast food product, which are the major characteristics as to why people like them. And secondly, to increase the volume.
Not all food binders increase the volume of the food product that they’re added to. But some that are used majorly in fast food products such as carrageenan and cellulose have the tendency to absorb water and increase volume. The addition of as little as 0.1% of carrageenan as a food binder can increase the volume of the product by as much as 8%. Moreover, food production cannot keep up with the growing demand for food products, so the addition of binders as fillers has become a norm in the fast food industry.
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The rise of meat substitutes/meat analogs is a major driving factor for food binders.
Globally, developing regions are witnessing a shift from non-vegetarian diets to a more sustainable vegetarian diet. This shift in food preferences still has a trail of the requirement of food products that resemble meat and meat products, but are not derived from meat. This is where the emerging market for meat substitutes and food binders comes into the picture.
The number of available meat substitutes is growing, and with it, the demand for food binders is also on the rise. Since food binders are an integral ingredient of meat substitutes, the growth in the demand for food binders is proportional to that of meat substitutes. This also indicates the rising demand for plant-derived food binders as well, since meat substitutes cannot utilize animal-derived food binders such as gelatin.
Global Food Binders Market: Key Players
Some of the key players in the global food binders market are A.F. SUTER & CO. LTD, Ettlinger Corporation, Cargill, Incorporated, Ingredion, Deosen Biochemical Ltd, DuPont Nutrition & Health, Fufeng Group, CP Kelco, LOTTE Fine Chemical, Tate & Lyle, Roquette Freres SA, Foodchem International, etc.
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Opportunities for participants in the global food binders market.
Opportunities for the global food binders market are prominently present in the growing processed food and fast food sectors. The demand for food binders is growing with the growing fast food industry in developing regions. The demand for food binders is also high from the confectionary segment, where all jam, jelly, and gum related products use food binders as an integral part of their manufacturing processes. Asia Pacific is one of the most attractive regions for the growth of the food binders market, owing to rising per capita income and the young population’s dependency on fast food.
By source, the global food binders market is segmented as:
- Potato Starch
- Tapioca Starch
- Guar Gum
- Xanthan Gum
- Fibers (Cellulose)
- Agar Agar
- Soy Proteins
By application, the global food binders market is segmented as:
- Meat Products and Meat Analogs
- Processed Foods
- Sports Nutrition Products
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