The increasing consumption of processed foods is driving the demand for antioxidants. As processed food items are high in carbohydrates, saturated fats, free sugars, sodium, and total fats and low in various essential nutrients such as vitamins, potassium, proteins, and fiber, their increasing consumption is responsible for several health problems such as low and high blood pressure. The rising prevalence of such health problems is fueling the demand for natural antioxidants, as these compounds protect the cells from the harmful effects of free radicals, which are present in processed foods.
Apart from the aforementioned factor, the surging popularity of healthy food items, growing public awareness about food safety, and mushrooming demand for foods that can be stored for a long period of time are also propelling the sales of antioxidants across the world. Synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) are being increasingly used in the food industry for extending the shelf life of food items. Both are safe for consumption and very effective in protecting the food items from oxidation (fat rancidity and color changes).
Vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, carotenoids, and polyphenols are the most commonly consumed natural oxidants. On the other hand, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), tert-butylhydroquinone (THBQ), Propyl Gallate (PG), and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) are the most widely consumed types of synthetic antioxidants. Between the two types of antioxidants, the demand for natural antioxidants is predicted to be higher in the forthcoming years. This will be because of the several anti-ageing benefits of these products and the rising public awareness about healthy eating habits.
Additionally, the increasing urbanization rate, soaring disposable income of people, and escalating working hours are also pushing up the demand for processed and fast foods, thereby powering the growth of the global antioxidants market. Antioxidants are basically substances that can mitigate the damage caused to other items because of oxidation. Food and beverage, cosmetics, feed additives, and pharmaceutical industries are the major application areas of antioxidants. Out of these, the use of antioxidants is predicted to be the highest in the food and beverages industry in the upcoming years.
The antioxidants present in fruits help fight several kinds of health problems such as cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the ballooning use of antioxidants in animal feed is also driving their demand in the food and beverages industry. For example, vitamin E is heavily used in the feed given to pigs. Across the globe, the sales of antioxidants will surge sharply in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in the upcoming years, as per the estimates of the market research company, P&S Intelligence.
This will be a result of the changing lifestyles of consumers, growing incidence of health problems, surging disposable income of people, and burgeoning requirement for anti-aging products in the region. Due to these factors, many antioxidant producing companies across the world such as Koninklijke DSM N.V. and Nutreco N.V., are taking various steps such as announcing acquisitions with other organizations, for strengthening their industry position and catering to a large consumer pool.
Hence, it can be safely said that the demand for antioxidants will boom in the upcoming years, primarily because of the increasing consumption of processed foods across the world.