Microcrystalline is refined wood pulp and chemically inert substance, extensively used in food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetic, and polymer composite industries. This is owing to its non-toxicity, renewability, biodegradability, and mechanical properties such as high surface area and bio compatibility. In processed food products, it is used as an emulsifier, stabilizer, anti-caking agent, texture modifier, stabilizer, a fat substitute, and a suspending agent.
Increasing application of microcrystalline cellulose in various industries is a major factor propelling growth of the global microcrystalline cellulose market. For instance, microcrystalline cellulose is used as stabilizer, gelling agent, suspending agent, and anti-caking agent in beverages. It is also used as a cold and hot stabilizer, in frozen food, ice cream, and canned meat, in order to improve the shelf life of the product. Furthermore, MCC (Microcrystalline Cellulose) is widely used in pharmaceuticals, owing to its tasteless, odor less, and chemical inertness properties. According to the International Trade Administration, in 2016, the global market for pharmaceuticals is projected to grow from around US$ 1 trillion in 2015 to US$ 1.3 trillion by 2020, with an annual growth rate of 4.9%. The steadily growing pharmaceutical industry is expected to support the market growth of microcrystalline cellulose over the forecast period. However, high production cost along with low production yield are major factors hampering growth of the market.
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Among end-use industries, pharmaceutical segment accounted for a dominant share in the market in 2016, owing to high use of microcrystalline cellulose in pharmaceutical. This is due to its chemical inertness and dry binding properties. Furthermore, food and beverage segment is expected to exhibit a substantial growth in the global microcrystalline cellulose market over the forecast period. This is due to wide application of MCC in various food and beverages including desserts, frozen food, dairy products, and baked goods. In addition to this, it is also used as a fat replacer and helps maintain the food consistency.
North America held the dominant position, in terms of revenue, in the global microcrystalline cellulose market in 2016, and accounted for a share of 30.47%. This is attributed to steadily growing food and pharmaceutical industries as microcrystalline cellulose has high penetration in pharmaceuticals and is extensively used as functional ingredient in food and beverages. According to the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and associations (IFPMA), the share of US in the global pharmaceutical market is expected to increase from 40.3% in 2015 to 40% in 2020. Moreover, increasing demand for low fat food, owing to growing obese population in the region is a factor expected to support growth of the market over the forecast period. This is as MCC is gaining popularity as a cellulose-based fat replacer and is widely used in sauces, dairy products, salad dressings, and frozen desserts. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during 2011–2014, the prevalence of obesity was 36.5% among the total adults in the U.S.
Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing region in the global microcrystalline cellulose market, registering the highest CAGR of 7.33% over the forecast period. Rapidly growing food and pharmaceutical industries in the region is positively affecting growth of the market. Increasing demand for pharmaceutical products is majorly driven by steadily growing geriatric population in Asia Pacific. According to the World Bank, growth rate of the geriatric population in East Asia is higher as compared to other parts of Asia Pacific. In 2010, over 211 million residents were recorded under the category of geriatric population in East Asia, out of which, China accounted for around 130 million residents.
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Major players operating in the global microcrystalline cellulose market include FMC Corporation, Asahi Kasei Corporation, Juku Orchem Private Limited, Mingtai Chemical Co. Ltd., Blanver, J Rettenmaier & Shone GmbH + Co Kg, Singachi Industries Pvt. Ltd., Accent Microcell Pvt. Ltd., and DFE Pharma.
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