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Bovine Lactoferrin Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Product (Spray-dried and Freeze-dried), By Application (Infant Formula, Pharmaceuticals, Dietary Supplements, Food, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: May 27, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101656



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The global bovine lactoferrin market size was valued at USD 659.0 million in 2023. The market is projected to grow from USD 669.9 million in 2024 to USD 969.9 million by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period.

Lactoferrin is an iron-binding protein found in human, bovine, camel, and goat milk. It is an ingredient that helps in the treatment of stomach and intestinal ulcers, diarrhea, and hepatitis C. It is also used as an antioxidant against several bacterial and viral infections. According to a 2023 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), it was reported that liposomal lactoferrin possesses effective anti-viral properties for the treatment of COVID-19 and can modulate the immune response either by enhancing the expression of B cells or by regulating T cells.

The increasing demand for lactoferrin among the general population has resulted in a few market players focusing on the expansion of their production capacities. For instance, in June 2021, Beston Global Food Company Ltd. announced the expansion of the production capacity of 95.0% pure lactoferrin at the Jervois dairy factory in Australia. In the current scenario, the company has the capability to produce up to 25 MT of lactoferrin per year.

Furthermore, according to 2020 annual report, Noumi Limited reported their increasing focus towards maximizing the production capacity in their Shepparton plants. Such capacity expansion initiatives by key players are expected to help fulfil the supply-demand gap and will subsequently boost the market growth during the forecast period.

In July 2023, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) announced the updated measures for registering infant and young children milk powder recipes, which will come into effect from October 1st, 2023. The updated version prohibited using any compounds of raw materials in a disguised form and all sources of milk protein should come from a single species. These regulations offer a strict regulatory environment for the players operating in the market.

Since then, the market has been volatile in terms of prices due to the frequent changes in regulatory policies.

The COVID-19 outbreak had a negative impact on the market globally. Capacity expansion by the major players led to a decline in the average selling price of these products.

  • According to key opinion leaders in this industry, it was reported that the average selling price of the product significantly decreased from USD 2,800 per kg in 2019 to around USD 1,500 per kg in 2020. In addition, the prices further declined to around USD 1,100 per kg in 2021, owing to decreasing demand for this protein in infant formula.

This resulted in the significant decline in the market size during the pandemic. However, the volume for bovine lactoferrin increased at a significant percentage in 2021 as compared to the 2020. This was mainly due to greater availability of these products by the domestic and international players in the market. Certain application segments witnessed a growth in the demand and adoption of this protein. This was due to the increasing awareness among the population about the clinical efficiency of the ingredient in boosting immunity.

  • For instance, in May 2021, Jatcorp announced its plan to launch five new lactoferrin-enriched immune powder formulas in China. This launch was in response to the growing market interest in immune-strengthening functional foods due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

However, post-pandemic, the dependency over lactoferrin for infant formula has recorded a decline. Owing to this, the market would record a slow growth during the forecast period.

Bovine Lactoferrin Market Trends

Preferential Shift Toward Domestic Products from International Brands

Strong initiatives by the Chinese government to encourage the Chinese population for the adoption of domestic products is shifting the common population from the international brands. The upgradation of product ingredients by domestic players in their infant formulas according to updated GB standards, which necessitates choline as an ingredient in the product, is expected to strengthen their market positions. 

  • For instance, according to a 2023 press release by Lactalis Ingredients, the import of infant formula decreased by more than 20% in China between 2020 and 2021. Furthermore, the Chinese parents are preferring the local brands as trustable manufacturers of lactoferrin based dairy products.

Along with this, the applications of these products have increased significantly in the last few years. Till the year 2015, infant formula was considered as the main application. However, currently, the focus is shifting toward applications such as dietary supplements, food, pharmaceuticals, and others. The growing popularity of naturally derived supplements over chemical molecules among the general population has increased the adoption of dietary supplements with added lactoferrin in developed as well as emerging countries.

This has subsequently resulted in the increasing focus of market players toward these sectors in order to gain profit. Furthermore, clinical trials to study the effects of this ingredient in the pharmaceutical industry have increased by 20 to 30 folds to study its pharmaceutical application.

Also, increasing R&D activities and product launches by market players to enhance digestion and improve immunity in children and adults is considered a significant market trend.

  • For instance, in January 2024, Nuchev announced the launch of its first bovine product to enhance digestion and immunity in older children and adults. The product contains lactoferrin and immunity-boosting vitamins A and D.

Such an increased application across various sectors is resulting in the higher consumption of these products and is set to propel the market growth during the forecast period.

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Bovine Lactoferrin Market Growth Factors

Introduction of Cost-effective Manufacturing Processes to Drive Market Growth

Currently, a few technology-oriented companies are emphasizing on introducing cost-effective ways of product manufacturing.

  • For instance, in June 2022, Wilk Technologies announced that they were able to produce the breast milk protein lactoferrin through internal testing in their laboratory, which proved to be a cost-effective process. The biotech company is focused on developing authentic, cell-based human and animal milk and milk components.

In addition, several researchers are focusing on establishing the efficacy of bovine lactoferrin for targeted drug delivery in cancer treatment.

  • For instance, in April 2021, researchers from the University of Strathclyde proposed that lactoferrin bearing gold nano-cages are highly promising gene delivery systems for the treatment of prostate cancer and can be further investigated, alone or in combination with other cancer therapy.

  • According to a 2021 article published in Elsevier, it was reported that a significant improvement was observed for respiratory tract infections by administration of lactoferrin.

In addition to these factors, an increasing number of working women in the emerging countries of Asia Pacific and Europe region is resulting in the decreasing rate of breast feeding and this leads to higher demand for infant formula. Furthermore, the proven benefits of lactoferrin are surging its demand and adoption in the manufacturing of infant formula, driving the bovine lactoferrin market growth.

The increasing number of clinical trials being conducted to explore new indications and the introduction of cost-effective techniques by manufacturers are expected to boost the product adoption during the forecast period.

  • For instance, as per the data provided by Nutrition Insight in February 2024, Cyprus-based researchers have conducted an interventional clinical trial to check the efficacy of bovine lactoferrin in patients with low hemoglobin levels. The study results revealed that bovine lactoferrin is an effective treatment for anemia.


High Cost of Lactoferrin and Lactoferrin Added Products to Limit Product Adoption

Despite the growing demand for advanced nutritional and infant formula products globally, certain factors are restricting the growth of the market. Among them is the high cost of products containing bovine lactoferrin as an ingredient. Different segments, such as food, nutritional supplements, infant formula, and similar others, require different purity levels of the protein, ranging from 90.0% to 98.0% purity. The higher the purity required, the costlier it becomes to manufacture, subsequently resulting in its higher prices.

Furthermore, as the purity increases, the prices are estimated to increase 2 to 4 times. For instance, the price per kg. of lactoferrin for dietary supplements (requiring 96.0% purity) is comparatively higher than other food applications (requiring 90.0% purity). Thus, the fluctuation in prices and comparatively higher prices of final products are some of the major factors limiting its adoption rate globally.

Similarly, the high market price of lactoferrin is attributed to the intricate extraction process and limited yield during separation. Also, the research involving genetic engineering technology for lactoferrin production is associated with high costs. These are some of the factors restricting market growth.

In addition to these factors, rising government initiatives for promoting breastfeeding are also hindering the market growth.

  • For instance, every year in August, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action conducts World Breastfeeding Week to increase awareness of breastfeeding among the general population. The primary motive is to educate the general population about improved nutrition and enhance the food child health and others after the COVID pandemic.

The major reason for the promotion of breastfeeding is the lactoferrin content in human milk, which ranges from 7 g/L in colostrum to 1 g/L in mature milk. The concentration of lactoferrin in cow’s milk is significantly lower ranging from 0.1 g/L to 0.4 g/L. The significant difference in this valuable protein content is leading to the shift of working women toward breastfeeding.

Bovine Lactoferrin Market Segmentation Analysis

By Product Analysis

Certain Distinct Advantages Favored the Dominance of the Freeze-dried Segment

By product, the market for bovine lactoferrin is segregated into freeze dried and spray dried.

The freeze-dried segment held a lion’s share of the market in 2023. Some of the major factors driving the segmental dominance are the high grade quality of the end product, antioxidant activity, and comparatively higher iron-binding capacity. Also, increasing product launches manufactured by freeze-dried technology is responsible for the segment’s growth.

  • For instance, in November 2021, US CLINICALS announced the launch of StrongImmune Lactoferrin, developed by freeze-dried technology to support the treatment of respiratory infections by providing immunity.

On the other hand, the spray-dried segment is expected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period. Certain specific advantages, including flexible, scalable, and controllable approaches for particle engineering are contributing to the growth of this segment. Apart from that, spray drying is appropriate for bulk application.

  • According to an article published in Elsevier B.V. in April 2022, the antioxidant activity is approximately 6% lower in freeze-dried bovine lactoferrin than in spray-dried and liquid lactoferrin.

By Application Analysis

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Increasing Demand for Infant Formula Supported the Segmental Dominance in 2023

Based on application, the market for bovine lactoferrin is segmented into infant formula, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, food, and others.

The infant formula segment accounted for the highest market share in 2023. The clinical benefits of lactoferrin-based products such as increasing immunity and improved digestion among infants are propelling the adoption rate of lactoferrin in infant formula and contributed to the segmental growth. This coupled with increasing demand for infant formula among the working women as an alternative for breast feeding is also increasing the demand and adoption of lactoferrin in the infant formula.

  • For instance, according to a 2023 study published by MDPI, it was reported that lactoferrin-enhanced formula given to infants increases their iron absorption and makes them less susceptible to anemias and other iron deficiencies. This subsequently drives the demand for lactoferrin for infant formula applications in the global market.

In addition, increasing regulatory approvals for incorporating bovine lactoferrin-based products in infant formula products is one of the factors contributing to segmental growth.

  • For instance, in February 2023, Food Standards Australia New Zealand approved the application that permits the voluntary inclusion of bovine lactoferrin as a nutritious ingredient in infant formula products.

The dietary supplements segment is expected to register a significant CAGR during the forecast period. The growing concern for healthy living among the general population along with the adoption of healthy diet in the post-pandemic situation is augmenting the adoption of natural healthy ingredients such as lactoferrin in dietary supplements. This is further anticipated to grow the segment with a significant CAGR during the forecast period.

The pharmaceuticals segment is also expected to witness a significant CAGR during the forecast period. Certain key features such as anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects, anti-inflammatory effects, immune stimulating effects, and anticancer effects are some of the primary reasons for integrating these ingredients into the production of pharmaceutical drugs. These key factors are fueling the growth of this segment during the forecast period.


Based on geography, the market for bovine lactoferrin has been studied across Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.

Asia Pacific Bovine Lactoferrin Market Size, 2023 (USD Million)

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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 369.0 million in 2023. The regional dominance is mainly attributed to the increasing demand for infant formula and dietary supplements among the general population of this region. This is surging the demand for lactoferrin to be integrated into infant formula and other nutritious food products for added nutritional value during the study period. The decrease in the breast feeding rate is another key factor for the growing demand for infant formula in this region. This, along with rising adoption of these products in the infant formula as a complementary nutritional product to breast milk is altogether fueling the market growth.

  • For instance, according to 2022 blog published by ARMOR PROTÉINES, it was reported that the need for lactoferrin to boost immunity has increased from 67% in 2020 to 76% in 2022. It has also been reported that 64% of parents in China are aware of infant formula and its proven benefits for infants.

The Europe market is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Increasing health awareness, along with rising consumption of nutritional foods and beverages, and dietary supplements containing bovine lactoferrin are some of the major factors for the significant growth of the market in this region.

  • For instance, in May 2020, European headquarters of the SIRIO Group, a global nutraceutical contract development, innovation, and manufacturing organization (CDiMO), stated that the demand for immunity boosting products and supplements is likely to increase in the near future.

In addition, several companies are launching new facilities across the region to enhance bovine lactoferrin production.

  • In March 2023, FrieslandCampina opened a new lactoferrin production facility in the Netherlands. The opening of new facilities was aimed to enhance production and meet growing demand in the nutrition market.

On the other hand, North America accounted for a significant share in the market in 2023. The increasing number of domestic players focusing toward the production capacity expansion of lactoferrin along with increased consumption of dietary supplements among the U.S. population is poised to offer lucrative growth opportunities in this region.

  • For instance, according to a 2022 article published by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, approximately 84% of Americans use dietary supplements. Furthermore, the usage of these dietary supplements was higher among women, older adults, and those who are more educated and/or have a higher household income.

Latin America and the Middle East & Africa markets are expected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period. This can be attributed to the increasing initiatives by governments and other non-profit organizations for the awareness of bovine lactoferrin usage and its nutritious value. In addition, the lower rate of breast feeding in these regions is also fostering the adoption of infant formula with added lactoferrin among the general population.

  • In March 2022, according to an article published by National Center for Bioetchnology Information (NCBI), it was reported that South Africa has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates on the African continent due to which the key players are focusing on launching more protein products with added lactoferrin in infant formula, which stimulates the market expansion.

List of Key Companies in Bovine Lactoferrin Market

Industry Players Focus on Expansion of Lactoferrin Production Capacity to Increase Global Market Share

The current market is semi-consolidated with industry players, such as MILEI GmbH and Bega Cheese Ltd., having accounted for the major share of the global market in 2023. The strong brand image, along with the wide distribution network globally, is offering immense growth opportunities for these players during the study period.

At present, a majority of the players operating in the market are focusing on their capacity expansion with an aim to fulfil the demand-supply gap of bovine lactoferrin during the study period. This is expected to increase their global bovine lactoferrin market share during the forecast period. Among key players, MILEI GmbH, Synlait Ltd., and FrieslandCampina DOMO are some of the players who expanded the production capacity of this protein and are anticipated to produce more than double of its previous production volume in the upcoming years to position themselves as the market leaders.

  • For instance, in July 2022, Synlait Ltd. registered an increased production of lactoferrin in 2022 compared to the previous year. The company produced around 37 MT in 2022 compared to 33 MT in 2021.

In addition, advancements in technology infrastructure and acquisitions & mergers with the key players operating in the milk industry are contributing to the growth of the leading players, such as Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited and others, in the market during the study period.

The expansion is further augmented by recent introduction of lactoferrin-based products by the key players such as Beston Global Food Company Ltd., which is fueling the adoption rate of these products among the general population. Certain inorganic growth strategies to comply with the recent GB standards are anticipated to strengthen the brand position of other market players during the study period.

Other key players in the market are SAVENCIA SA, Saputo Dairy Australia Pty Ltd., Noumi Limited, Glanbia PLC., and Ingredia.



  • February 2023 - Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. acquired shares of Le May Production, a company focused on the import and export of infant and toddler milk, with an aim to contribute to the construction of nutritional infrastructure in Asia.

  • August 2022 - Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. received FDA GRAS approval for its Probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis M-63 for use in Infant Formula and General Foods.

  • May 2022 - Glanbia PLC acquired Sterling Technology, a U.S. based manufacturer of dairy bioactive solutions derived from bovine colostrum, with an aim to increase its brand presence.

  • June 2021 - Beston Global Food Company Ltd. announced that its Jervois dairy factory in Australia expanded its capacity to produce up to 25 metric tonnes per year of 95.0% pure lactoferrin.

  • September 2020 - FrieslandCampina DOMO had announced the initiation of its lactoferrin manufacturing capacity expansion to 70 MT in Veghel, Netherlands by end of 2022 in order to meet the rising demand for lactoferrin. Nearing the completion of its plant, the company would produce the desired quantity by 2023.


An Infographic Representation of Bovine Lactoferrin Market

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The global bovine lactoferrin market report provides a detailed analysis and market segmentation on the basis of product and application and focuses on key aspects such as company profiles, SWOT analysis, and applications. Besides this, it offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.

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Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Million)

Growth Rate 

CAGR of 4.7% from 2024-2032


By Product

  • Freeze-dried

  • Spray-dried

By Application

  • Infant Formula

  • Dietary Supplements

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Food

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (By Product, By Application, and By Country)

    • U.S.

    • Canada

  • Europe (By Product, By Application, and By Country/Sub-region)

    • U.K.

    • Germany

    • France

    • Italy

    • Spain

    • Scandinavia

    • Rest of Europe

  • Asia Pacific (By Product, By Application, and By Country/Sub-region)

    • Japan

    • China

    • India

    • Australia

    • Southeast Asia

    • Rest of Asia Pacific

  • Latin America (By Product, By Application, and By Country/Sub-region)

    • Brazil

    • Mexico

    • Rest of Latin America

  • Middle East & Africa (By Product, By Application, and By Country/Sub-region)

    • South Africa

    • GCC

    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market stood at USD 659.0 million in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 969.9 million by 2032.

In 2023, the Asia Pacific market size stood at USD 369.0 million.

The market will exhibit steady growth at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period (2024-2032).

Based on application, the infant formula segment held the leading market share in 2023.

The increasing demand for infant formula with added lactoferrin and the introduction of cost-effective manufacturing processes by industry players.

MILEI GmbH, SAVENCIA SA, Synlait Ltd., Glanbia Plc., Ingredia, and Bega Cheese Ltd. are the top players in the market.

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