High Demand for Thickeners to Boost the Modified Starch Market | Technavio

Technavio market research analysts forecast the global modified starch market to grow at a CAGR of more than 4% during the forecast period, according to their latest report.

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Technavio has published a new report on the global modified starch market from 2017-2021. (Graphic:  ...

Technavio has published a new report on the global modified starch market from 2017-2021. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The market study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global modified starch market for 2017-2021. The report also lists food and beverages, textile and paper making, pharmaceuticals, animal feed, and cosmetics as the five major application segments.

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Technavio analysts highlight the following three market drivers that are contributing to the growth of the global modified starch market:

  • Increasing demand for modified starch as thickeners
  • High demand for corn starch as a less expensive alternative
  • Increase in R&D activities associated with modified starches

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Increasing demand for modified starch as thickeners

One of the major driving factors for the global modified starch market is the high demand and use of modified starch as a thickener in food products. Modified corn starch is extensively used in the food processing industry for its excellent thickening property. In addition, modified starch acts as a substitute for high calorie sugar or high cholesterol eggs in many products. It is also highly preferred by health-conscious chefs around the world. The thickening property of modified starch makes it ideal for an array of applications, such as gravies, sauces, and soups.

According to Kshama Upadhyay, a lead analyst at Technavio for specialty chemicals research, “One of the factors leading to the increasing use of modified starch is the ability of modified starches to thicken without being heated. Thus, modified starches are used in instant desserts extensively. Such modified starches are also called pregelatinized or instant starches. Some of the most popular modified starch thickeners include tapioca, cornstarch, and arrowroot.”

High demand for corn starch as a less expensive alternative

The growth in the global modified starch market can be attributed to high demand for corn starch in the food and beverage industry. This is primarily due to the wide application areas of both corn and modified corn starch. In addition, the availability of corn in abundance, particularly in agriculture-rich countries like India and China foster the growth in the market.

Corn starch is used in food applications for gluten-free products in place of wheat. Wheat has high gluten in it. Moreover, the price of modified corn starch is lower than that of wheat or tapioca starches. Corn starch is not just used as a thickening agent, but also is a high source of energy.

“The use of corn starch is also known to lower blood sugar in humans. In addition, corn starch has excellent soothing and moisture-absorbing power. Therefore, it is also used in cosmetics as an ideal solution for skin problems. The ingredient also offers as a relatively less expensive alternative when it comes to store-bought products,” says Kshama.

Increase in R&D activities associated with modified starches

The global modified starch market is driven by the increase in R&D activities on modified starches around the world. The R&D activities have facilitated the use of modified starch not only in the food and beverage industry but also in areas as diverse as its application in cancer-related studies. For instance, hydrophobically modified starch (HMS) as a food-grade biopolymer is known to demonstrate properties such as increased solubility. HMS is known to encapsulate curcumin to increase its solubility. Curcumin refers to a polyphenolic compound with anti-inflammation, anti-cancer, and anti-oxidation properties.

Thus, the increase in the R&D activities has fostered and expanded sales of modified starch in untapped applicational areas. Also, ecological concerns have led to a renewed global focus on compostable and natural materials. This has paved the way for the increased R&D activities on the application of modified starch as an environment-friendly remedy.

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