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Spirulina is a cyanobacterium, also known as blue-green algae. Spirulina is termed as a super-food due to its nutrient-rich profile. The spirulina contains protein, beta carotene, fatty acids, vitamins, copper, and iron. Spirulina is mainly of two types Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. Phycocyanin is the bluish pigment that is extracted from spirulina, mostly for incorporation in various food and beverages as a natural coloring agent. The rising demand among consumers for natural food ingredients has driven the growth of the global spirulina market.
The spirulina possesses antioxidant and cleansing properties along with trace elements such as selenium and zinc necessary for maintaining skin health. It also improves the firmness and elasticity of the skin. The phycocyanin content in spirulina helps detoxification and hydration of the skin due to which it is widely integrated into various cosmetics and personal care products. The increasing demand for cosmeceuticals with natural extracts has fuelled the expansion of spirulina across the global market.
Key Market Driver -
Wide Application in Food Products as Natural Colourant
Key Market Restraint -
Presence of Other Synthetic Food Colours
The growing health concerns among the consumers and the negative health impact of artificial food colorings have led to the increased demand for plant-based food product. Clean-labelling and robust growth of minimally-processed foods have led to the broad incorporation of spirulina as a natural food colorant in various food products such as smoothies, jellies, and drinks. The manufacturers are developing new enhanced techniques for extracting more amount of phycocyanins from spirulina for commercial use.
The robust availability of other synthetic colorants in the market like indigo carmine and brilliant blue is a significant restraint for the global spirulina market. The extraction effeciency of synthetic food colors is comparatively more than of spirulina. Moreover, the phycocyanin extraction procedure is time consuming and costly as compared to the synthetic food colors. These factors have negatively impacted the spirulina market.
Some of the key companies that are present in the global spirulina market are Chr. Hansen Holding A/S., Sensient Technologies Corporation, Parry Nutraceuticals Ltd., Cyanotech Corporation, DIC Corporation, Naturex S.A., Algenol Biofuels Inc., Prolgae Spirulina Supplies Pvt. Ltd., Dongtai City Spirulina Bio-engineering Co., Fuqing King Dnarmsa Spirulina Co., Ltd., Fraken Biochem Co., Ltd.
The Arthrospira platensis variant of spirulina is predominantly used due to its low-cost and high-efficiency biomass production. The powdered form of spirulina is leading owing to its easy incorporation in various beverages and food items. The liquid form is used widely in cosmetics and personal care products. The dietary supplements sector is leading due to the rising concerns among the consumers towards nutrition and health. The food and beverage segment is also witnessing demand for spirulina as a natural colorant due to the negative health impacts associated with consuming artificial coloring agents such as allergies.
Asia Pacific is witnessing significant market growth due to the abundant production of spirulina in countries like Korea, Indonesia, and China. The wide incorporation of spirulina in nutraceuticals for the manufacturing of protein-rich dietary supplements has aided in market expansion. The increasing demand from the cosmeceutical industries is also driving the spirulina market in the region.
Europe is one of the leading market owing to its growing demand from the manufacturers for natural food colors in processed foods. France and the United Kingdom are the potential markets for spirulina due to the increasing demand from the food and beverages sector, such as bakery and confectionery. The consumers' preferences are shifting towards minimally processed foods with enhanced aesthetic appeal – such trends have benefitted market performance of clean-label ingredients including spirulina.
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North America is anticipated to witness significant growth in the forthcoming years. The U.S. is one of the leading countries followed by Canada due to the increasing demand for natural food colorings. The U.S is also one of the major consumer and exporter of spirulina due to its broadened application spectrum. The manufacturers are incorporating spirulina in bakery, dairy and confectionery products. The rising trend of clean-label and natural ingredients in the region is expected to propel its market growth.
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