- More than 1 billion people are obese, worldwide. Estimations have it that by 2025, approximately 167 million people, including children and adults, will be less healthy due to obesity
- Cardiovascular diseases result in 17.9 million deaths every year globally
— The World Health Organization
Given ever-present morbid health statistics, it’s no surprise that consumers are seeking food options that will not only preserve their health but also satisfy their taste buds. This is why the food encapsulation market will emerge as a prominent business in the nutrition, food and animal feed industries.
The food encapsulation market has been showing incredible growth in recent years due to two major factors: an exponential rise in convenience food demand because of hectic schedules and the growing desire to consume functional and healthy food.
1. Healthy food consumption
“At least 80% of all strokes, heart diseases, and Type II diabetes cases and up to 40% of cancer cases could be averted if people consumed healthy foods, quit using tobacco and engaged in more physical activity” — The World Health Organization.
Increasing consumer awareness toward healthy foods has resulted in the cumulative demand for processed and fortified foods with enhanced color, texture, flavor and taste. This is largely achieved with food encapsulation that provides bioactive molecules in foods. Consumers looking forward to maintaining a decent and healthy lifestyle but refusing to compromise on taste is one of the pivotal drivers for the food encapsulation industry.
2. Sedentary living
“Almost 48% of British adults claimed that busy lives and stress plays a crucial role in stopping them from eating healthy.”
— British Nutrition Foundation.
Because of frantic schedules, the percentage of modern-day consumers adopting a healthy lifestyle is exceptionally low. It’s for this reason that more consumers are looking for foods that provide them with all the required health benefits they need.
This transitioning trend in consumer preference has offered a major boost to the food encapsulation industry, as the microencapsulation process has made it possible to incorporate foods with essential minerals and vitamins without changing the general nutritional food value.
Strategic Initiatives and Product Innovations: Defining the Food Encapsulation Industry Outlook
The food encapsulation market is thriving amid an evolving and changing F&B landscape. Companies operating in this business are bringing about novel breakthroughs via strategic measures like collaboration, acquisitions, facility expansion and others.
For instance, Blue California announced it was offering a microencapsulation technology platform for active ingredients in early 2022. Named FineCap, the platform has been developed to help manufacturers make use of active ingredients with unique characteristics like taste, odor or stability. Reports suggest that the new platform could also improve control and consistency of texture, flavor and color in food and beverage applications. Moreover, it secures or masks odor and taste, allows for liquid delivery to a dry product, and improves water solubility.
In yet another instance, Glanbia Nutritionals opened a partnership with Ixoreal Biomed to optimize high-concentration KSM-66 ashwagandha root extract and improve functionality using microencapsulation technology. Via NutraShield, the company’s microencapsulation technology would secure KSM-66 root extract to improve application dosage and efficiency included in a formulation with other minerals and vitamins.
These examples prove that the demand for microencapsulation technology in the food and nutrition industry is gaining attraction globally. Microencapsulation stands as an ideal way of deploying the richness of certain vitamins and minerals in food.
Speaking of which, omega-3 fatty acids are not naturally produced in the human body but can be ingested through the consumption of fish rich in these nutrients. However, since fish isn’t preferred in certain diets, microencapsulation is being largely deployed to include fish oils in bread to increase the intake of omega 3 fatty acids for consumers. This would deliver the nutritional value of omega 3 fatty acids to the consumer without the necessity or unpleasantness of fish consumption.
5 Benefits of Microencapsulating Food Items
There are diverse benefits that can be accomplished through microencapsulation. Knowing when to use the technology is expected to emerge as a key to formulating products that would be successful in the market in the coming years:
- Protection from moisture, exposure to oxygen and acids
- Increase consumer acceptance by reducing the unpleasant taste and odor associated with certain nutrients
- Reduce overages for cost savings
- Carefully engineered so that nutrients can be secured from processing losses, but released when desired
- Easy handling
New Opportunities for Microencapsulation Technology
The market value for microencapsulation technology across the food encapsulation industry is projected to grow considerably over the foreseeable period. This can be attributed to the increasing global population and its subsequent demand for food, in line with meeting the growing need for nutritional intake.
What’s Next for the Food Encapsulation Market?
By 2026, the market valuation of the food encapsulation business is likely to surpass the $55 billion mark. This potential expansion can be attributed to the rising nutritional requirements of Gen-Z and Millennials given its several health benefits.
North America is expected to stand tall as a revenue opportunity for food encapsulation industry players in the coming years, driven by the increasingly health-conscious population and growing consumption of functional foods.