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Growing Demand for Natural Food Colorants Drives Market for Haematococcus Pluvialis in Europe

   March 31, 2023

Rapid use of artificial production sources to increase food production has led to various health hazards. Today, factors such as rising health consciousness and inclination toward environment-friendly products are boosting the demand for naturally grown food products worldwide. These factors have compelled food manufacturers to shift toward natural food colors to make their products more appealing to consumers.

Natural food colors are typically derived from sources such as algae, plants, animals, fruits, and insects and are commonly used as food additives due to their non-toxic or low-toxicity properties and minimal side effects. The therapeutic uses of natural food colors are also increasing due to these benefits. In addition, the European government supports the use of natural food colors because they are biodegradable and do not contribute to pollution when disposed of. As a result, several regulations have been passed in Europe that favor the use of natural food colors over synthetic ones, which is expected to further boost demand for natural food colors throughout the region.

According to Food and Drink Europe, the European food and beverage industry has a turnover of nearly USD 1.2 Trillion (EUR 1.1 trillion). Due to the growth in the food and beverage industry, the demand for astaxanthin derived from Haematococcus pluvialis will increase in Europe.

Moreover, there are concerns about the safety of using synthetic astaxanthin for direct human consumption due to both different stereochemistry and potential carryover of synthesis intermediates. These concerns make natural astaxanthin derived from the Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae a preferred choice for high-end markets. Haematococcus pluvialis has already been approved as a color additive in salmon feeds and a dietary-supplement ingredient for human consumption in several European countries. However, there is no EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) approval for therapeutic applications.

Supercritical CO2 extracts from Haematococcus pluvialis have been granted novel food status by the U.K. Food Standards Agency (FSA). Thus, astaxanthin is a high-value product in the carotenoid marketplace and is also used as a pigmentation source for salmon, shrimp, trout, and poultry applications.

Increasing Awareness About Clean-Label Products

The clean label movement is driven by consumer demand for transparency through authenticity. Clean-label products are food products that contain natural, familiar, and simple ingredients. The rising demand for organic, natural, and artificial ingredient-free food products is expected to drive the demand for natural-colored food products.

In 2020, Lubrizol Life Science Health (LLS Health), a Berkshire Hathaway company, launched ASTAGILE, a sustainable, organic-certified astaxanthin (Haematococcus pluvialis), microencapsulated with spirulina, which has been awarded organic certification from the EU COPAE governing body as a new clean-label. The growing health consciousness and the increasing awareness about the benefits of consuming clean-label ingredients are the key factors expected to drive the demand for clean-label ingredients products.

In addition, consumers are becoming more aware of the negative effects of consuming synthetic raw materials, including synthetic food colors, used to produce various food and beverage products. Food colors play a significant role in creating consumer interest in foods without the use of artificial ingredients. Thus, the growing health awareness and increasing demand for clean-label products are expected to drive the growth of the Haematococcus pluvialis market in Europe.

According to the latest publication on the Haematococcus Pluvialis Market by Meticulous Research®, the Haematococcus pluvialis market is projected to reach $35.0 million by 2030, at a CAGR of 13.4% from 2023 to 2030, while in terms of volume, this market is projected to reach 241.44 tons by 2030, at a CAGR of 14.5% from 2023 to 2030.

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