Generally used as stabilizer, thickening agent, or an emulsifier, modified maize starch is prepared by physically, chemically, and enzymatically treating maize to change its properties. Owing to its gluten-free attributes and rich source of carbohydrates, modified maize starch is gaining increasing demand in processed or microwavable food products. In addition, modified maize starch can be used as a gelling agent to better maintain the texture of the food products. These are key factors influencing the development of modified maize starch market. Rising scope of applications for modified maize starch in various industries including pharmaceuticals, paper, textile, and cosmetics is likely to favor significant growth in its market.
With increasing demand for convenience and ready-to-go food products, especially in emerging economies, the modified maize starch market is likely to earn high traction from Asia Pacific. Increase in awareness of innovative products along with substantial growth in production of processed foods will possibly boost the modified maize starch market in the region. Prevalence of major companies and industries in Asia Pacific backed by strengthening economies is expected to open new avenues of growth of the modified maize starch market. However, volatility in raw material prices and availability of substitutes may hinder the growth of modified maize starch market.
Though Clean-Label Starch Resists the Market Growth, Food, Dairy and Pharma Industries Present Lucrative Opportunities
On the back of rising demand for processed foods, the food processing industry has witnessed significant development in past decades. Thickening agents, emulsifiers, stabilizers, preservatives, and other food additives are highly sought-after in the production of processed foods. Owing to the excellent physiological and rheological properties, modified maize starch is extensively utilized in the food industry. In addition, the market for modified maize starch has penetrated its roots in the pharmaceutical, paper, as well as packaging industries. However, rising consumer preference for clean-label starches is likely to influence the global modified maize starch market.
Steady Demand for the Thickening Agents to Seek Modified Maize Starch
As the most common thickening agent, modified starch is extensively used in the processed food industry. While there are multiple sources including wheat, maize, potato, rice, and cassava, modified starch derived from maize is cost effective as compared to that derived from wheat or cassava. As modified maize starch provides a better alternative to cost-intensive thickeners and other raw materials, it reduces the overall food product cost. On account of these benefits, demand for modified maize starch as thickening agents has increased with the rising demand for processed food. Apart from the application as a thickening agent, modified maize starch is also used as a stabilizer and emulsifier in the food industry.
Dairy Products Industry to Present Lucrative Opportunities
Modified maize starch is extensively utilized as thickeners, stabilizers, and emulsifiers in the dairy industry. For the manufacturing of yogurt, in particular, low fat and fat-free yogurt, modified maize starch is added as a fat replacer and creaminess enhancer. Further, manufacturers are actively engaged in the R&D activities to introduce novel dairy products. For instance, Cargill has introduced a new modified starch that declines fat content by 50% in yogurts without affecting the taste. With the projected growth of US$ 36 billion of the global low fat and fat-free yogurt market by the end of 2026, utilization of modified maize starch in the dairy industry is likely to grow in the future.
Rising Demand for Infant Formula to Fuel the Market Growth
Maltodextrin is the most commonly used modified maize starch in the infant formula. It is added as a thickening agent and considered the most inexpensive and safe additive in the infant formula. With the increased population of working mothers and steadily rising birth rates, infant formula market reported revenue of US$ 26.4 billion in 2017. As manufacturers actively adopt strategies such as attractive packaging, organic variety and availability through online platforms, the global market for infant formula is projected to reach US$ 66 billion by the end of 2027. Increased awareness regarding health benefits of modified starch in the infant formula along with the use as a thickener is likely to influence the growth of the global modified maize starch market.
Pharmaceutical and Other Industrial Applications
As a coating agent, diluent, binder or disintegrant, modified maize starch is actively utilized in the pharmaceutical industry. Due to which, manufacturers provide industry-specific pharmaceutical grade modified maize starch. In addition, industrial grade modified maize starch with improved shear stability is used in the paper-making and packaging industry.
Clean-Labels Trend Barricading Future Adoption
Processed food manufacturers largely rely on modified starch to enhance texture and consistency of their products. However, consumer-driven movement of clean labels has significantly affected manufacturing approach in processed foods industry. Modified maize starch is derived using physical as well as chemical methods. The physical method does not involve content modification whereas chemical method modifies the starch by addition of salts or chemical group. Generally, manufacturers fail to mention the origin of modified maize starch. Owing to the intensive use of modified starch in the food industry, consumers are actively seeking label-friendly starch as an additive in the processed food products.
Key Company Developments
- Archer Daniel Midland Co. has initiated construction in its Bulgarian corn wet mill facility that manufactures starch products, modified starch products, and liquid sweeteners among other food ingredients. This expansion will enable processing of 900,000 tonnes annually.
- Cargill (Minneapolis), a leading modified starch manufacturer has launched a new line called SimPure that includes functional native starches that are clean-label starches.
- Grain Processing Corporation (GPC), a subsidiary of Kent Corporation, has recently received non-GMO project verification at its Indiana production facility for maltodextrin and corn syrup solids.
Some of the leading manufacturers in the global modified maize starch market are Cargill Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Company, Associated British Foods plc., and Kent Corporation among others.
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