The global microencapsulation market was valued at USD 6.3 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 11.8 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 11.4% from 2018 to 2023. The demand for microencapsulation is increasing in various industries due to its wide applications. For instance, encapsulated food ingredients and drugs are used for effective functioning; to prevent product damage until consumption; and to protect the active ingredients from moisture, heat, or other extreme conditions, thus enhancing stability.
The North American region is projected to hold the largest market due to its increasing use of microencapsulation for the development of several products such as phase change materials, pharmaceutical & healthcare drugs, agricultural inputs, and food additives. The market in this region is driven by technological advancements in the microencapsulation industry.
The microencapsulation market, on the basis of application, mainly constitutes of seven segments— pharmaceutical & healthcare products, household & personal care products, food & beverages, agrochemicals, textiles, construction materials, and others. The food & beverages segment is projected to grow at a significant rate due to the growing consumption of fortified food & beverages owing to its nutritional values. Since consumers are becoming more health conscious, they are demanding fortified food & beverages, which fuels the demand for microencapsulated food ingredients.
The microencapsulation market, by core material, is segmented into pharma & healthcare drugs, food additives, fragrances, agriculture inputs, phase change materials, and others. The food additives segment is estimated to be the fastest-growing, due to its various applications such as nutrient retention, protection of taste or color, flavor enhancement, and food preservation through oxidation stability, which is also why most food & beverage manufacturers prefer the use of microencapsulated food additives.
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The launch of advanced and cost-effective microencapsulated products; development of multi-functional microencapsulated materials; and the rise in awareness about the benefits of fortified food, coupled with the rising demand for functional products in various industries in the Asia Pacific and South American economies prove to be the opportunities for this market. The growing demand for a variety of microencapsulated food ingredients, the launch of advanced technologies for processing, and a favorable regulatory environment for microencapsulated products are some of the factors that drive growth in the microencapsulation market. The applications of microencapsulation are widespread across various industries such as nutrition & pharmaceutical, food & beverage, personal care & cosmetic, agrochemical, construction, textile, chemical, defense, and paper. This trend is driving the market growth since microencapsulation provides process efficiency by achieving desired results.
The major players in the industry are focusing on expansions & investments, product & service launches, acquisitions, collaborations & partnerships, and joint ventures to increase their footprint in the microencapsulation industry.
How does the stability of microencapsulated ingredients in a varying atmosphere pose a challenge?
Optimization of the physical and chemical properties of microcapsules is necessary to achieve the stability of microencapsulated ingredients or products. Manufacturers find it challenging to maintain the stability of microencapsulated ingredients in varying environmental conditions. The parameters for the optimization of properties include microencapsulation process type, material type, or capacity of the microsphere. The properties of microcapsules including permeability, mechanical stability, cell viability, controlled release, targeted delivery, drug stability, and shelf-life need to be optimized. Achieving these parameters to achieve stability is challenging because of varying atmospheric conditions such as temperature, humidity, and pressure.
Even with the adoption of advanced technologies, some challenges such as a combination of moisture-sensitive ingredients with liquid food persists. This is because of the failure to achieve the required stability of microcapsules in the humid atmosphere.
Maintaining optimum physical stability of microencapsulated food during processing and packaging is a major challenge. There are no defined approaches that apply to the microencapsulation of food ingredients. A customized solution is required considering every stage of processing, packaging, storage, and delivery. This is due to the wide variation in the types of food, transportation modes, and the necessity of different release triggers and consumption requirements.
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