Antioxidants (also known as shelf-life extenders) are used for the improvement of the shelf life of food products. Antioxidant also protects against deterioration such as color changes and fat rancidity that is caused by oxidation. Antioxidants are used as cosmetics, animal and food feed additives for a range of applications, such as reducing singlet oxygen and prevention of cells from damaging.
Antioxidants slow down oxidation of other molecules and neutralize the effects of free radicals in consumer’s body, protecting body from the oxidation reaction by oxidizing themselves. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals and the free radicals start chain reactions. So, antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, thiols and polyphenols act as reducing agents. Even though oxidation reactions are necessary for life but they can sometimes be damaging, as plants and animals maintain complex systems of multiple types of antioxidants (such as vitamin C, glutathione, vitamin A and vitamin E) and enzymes (such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and various peroxides). Inadequate level of antioxidants and inhibition of the antioxidant enzymes causes oxidative stress and damage to the cells.
Some of the antioxidants are lutein, vitamin A, lycopene, vitamin E, selenium, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Rich sources of antioxidants are vegetables and fruits, and the consumption of vegetables and fruits keeps a consumer healthy and increases the immunity of the human body. High dose supplements of antioxidants can lead to health risks in some cases. For example, taking high doses of beta-carotene increases the risk of lung cancer in smokers and high doses of vitamin E increases the risk of prostate cancer.
Based on end user of antioxidants, the global antioxidants market can be segmented as, cosmetics industry, synthetic resins industry, animal feed industry, food and beverages industry, and fuel additive market. Food and beverages industry is one of the major end users of the antioxidant. Based on the type, the global antioxidants market can be bifurcated in two broad categories – natural antioxidants and synthetic antioxidants.
Consumer awareness towards the health benefits of antioxidants had risen at a significant level. The demand for foods such as blueberries and blackberries, which are naturally rich in antioxidants, is also growing with a significant rate. Artificial antioxidants are also used in manufacturing a variety of foods for the health conscious consumers. Antioxidants are used widely in confectionery, chocolate, hot beverages and soft drinks. Growing demand for end-user industry, coupled with rising health awareness are some of the major factors driving the growth of global antioxidants market.
Stringent regulatory norms towards the use of antioxidants, consumers concern over the high dose of artificial antioxidants in food and beverages products, and changing consumer behavior are some of the major factors restraining the growth of antioxidants market. Europe had the highest consumption of antioxidants followed by North America. Various benefits of antioxidants such as treating children with celiac disease, managing blood pressure, and making liver transplant procedure successful are other dominant factors behind the high market share of antioxidant in western countries.
Some of the major competitors of antioxidants market are Vitablend Nederland B.V., Kemin Industries, Inc., E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Koninklijke DSM N.V., Kalsec, Inc., Nutreco N.V., Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM), Cargill Incorporated, Naturex S.A., BASF S.E, and Aland (Jiangsu) Nutraceutical Co., Ltd.
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