The Global Organic Acid Market was valued at USD 11.42 billion in 2022 and is projected to experience robust growth in the forecast period, with a CAGR of 5.5% through 2028. Organic acids, classified as weak acids due to their incomplete dissociation in water, differ from mineral acids. It is worth noting that formic acid and lactic acid are miscible in water, while higher molecular mass organic acids like benzoic acid remain completely insoluble in their neutral form. Traditionally, fermentation processes were used to produce lactic acid and formic acid. However, advancements in biotechnology and chemical synthesis have replaced these earlier methods. Furthermore, a variety of agro-industrial residues, such as cassava bagasse, coffee husk, apple pomace, soybean, sugarcane, corn-cobs, press-mud, citric pulps, wheat bran, and kiwi fruit peel, are now utilized for organic acid production. Organic acids are extensively used as antioxidants, acidulants, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers, and preservatives. Unlike mineral acids, organic acids exhibit lower reactivity and can withstand extreme temperatures. As a result, they are widely applied in the production of food and beverages, animal feed, and pharmaceuticals.
Key Market Drivers:
Expansion of the Pharmaceutical Industry
In addition to their use as excipients and for enhancing drug stability, organic acids are employed in drug formulation. The focus on natural and sustainable ingredients in pharmaceuticals has further increased the use of organic acids. In the pharmaceutical industry, organic acids are utilized for their antimicrobial and preservative properties. Notably, citric acid and acetic acid have been extensively studied for their ability to inhibit microbial growth in meat products, thereby reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses. Citric acid is widely used as an organic acid in the pharmaceutical sector, serving as an excipient in medications to enhance drug stability, solubility, and bioavailability. It is also used in the formulation of effervescent tablets and as a pH adjuster in oral solutions. Additionally, acetic acid is employed in the pharmaceutical industry for various purposes, including the production of acetates that function as solvents or intermediates in drug synthesis. It is also used in the manufacturing of cellulose acetate, a widely utilized material in drug delivery systems. Organic acids are sometimes utilized as excipients in enteric coatings for tablets or capsules. These coatings can protect the drug from degradation in the acidic environment of the stomach and ensure its release in the intestines.
Increasing Demand for Citric Acid in the Food and Beverage Industries
Citric acid is extensively used in the food and beverage industry as a widely adopted additive. It serves as an acidulate and preservative, effectively prolonging the shelf life of convenience foods. Its low toxicity, compared to other acidulates, makes it the preferred choice. This versatile compound can be found in non-alcoholic beverages, jams, gelatin-based desserts, tinned vegetables, and fruits. Its role in enhancing flavors, especially in the drinks industry, is of great significance. The sour and refreshing taste it imparts helps to balance the sweetness in many beverages. Regulatory bodies, such as the US Food and Drug Administration, consider citric acid a safe natural acid in the diet, contributing to its market growth. According to the FDA, the consumption of 500 milligrams of citric acid per day is considered harmless. Furthermore, the use of citric acid in processed frozen foods and as an additive in certain fats and oils enhances the effectiveness of antioxidants, thereby reducing the rate of product deterioration. Moreover, the European Union regulations permit the use of citric acid as an additive in beer and malt beverages, which will contribute to the market growth due to increasing demand for malt beverages. Benzoic acid, an organic acid with weak properties, is widely used as a preservative in various food and beverage items. It effectively inhibits the proliferation of bacteria, yeasts, and molds, thereby extending the shelf life of soft drinks, fruit juices, pickles, and sauces. Sorbic acid, along with its potassium salt, potassium sorbate, is extensively used in preserving bakery products, cheese, and processed meat. These substances effectively hinder the growth of mold, yeast, and certain bacteria, thereby aiding in spoilage prevention and maintaining product freshness. Propionic acid and its salts, such as calcium propionate, act as preservatives in bread, baked goods, and dairy items. Their primary function is to control the growth of mold and bacteria, particularly in products with high moisture content.
Key Market Challenges
Raw Material Availability
The availability of raw materials presents a significant challenge for the organic acids market. The production of organic acids heavily relies on specific raw materials such as biomass, corn, maize, sugar, and other feedstocks. Fluctuating prices and limited availability of these raw materials can greatly impact the production cost and supply chain of organic acids. The increasing demand for organic acids in various industries, including pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, personal care, and agriculture, further exacerbates the issue. However, the consistency of raw material availability remains a concern, leading to potential disruptions in the supply chain, price volatility, and potential shortages in the organic acids market. Additionally, sourcing renewable raw materials presents challenges as the market moves towards sustainable and eco-friendly solutions. Ensuring a consistent and reliable supply of these raw materials can be problematic, especially when agricultural yields and weather conditions affect crop production.
Volatility in Prices of Organic Acid
The fluctuation in prices of organic acids poses a significant challenge for the global organic acids market. Price volatility can have implications for the profitability and sustainability of organic acid producers, as well as influence purchasing decisions of end-users. This price volatility can intensify competition among suppliers, as they may need to adjust their prices to remain competitive. Consequently, this can lead to pricing pressures and profit margin challenges for market participants. Additionally, volatile prices can impact the purchasing decisions of end-users, including pharmaceutical companies, food and beverage manufacturers, and agricultural industries. The uncertainty surrounding pricing can make it difficult for these industries to effectively plan their budgets and make long-term purchasing commitments.
Key Market Trends
Growing Demand in Animal Feed
The escalating demand for organic acids in animal feed is emerging as a significant trend in the global organic acid market. The increasing need for organic acids in animal feed is primarily driven by their potential benefits in enhancing animal nutrition, health, and performance. Organic acids, such as formic acid, propionic acid, and lactic acid, are utilized as feed additives to bolster gut health, improve digestion, and inhibit the proliferation of harmful bacteria in animals. Furthermore, organic acids have demonstrated the ability to enhance feed efficiency in livestock by augmenting nutrient absorption and utilization. This heightened efficiency can result in reduced feed costs and bolstered profitability for farmers, thereby further propelling the demand for organic acid-based feed additives. Additionally, regulatory agencies in different regions are acknowledging the potential advantages of organic acid-based feed additives and granting approvals for their utilization in animal nutrition. This regulatory endorsement is bolstering the adoption of organic acids in animal feed and contributing to the expansion of the global organic acid market.
Advancements in Industrial Biotechnology
Another key trend driving the global organic acid market is the continuous advancements in industrial biotechnology. Industrial biotechnology encompasses the utilization of biological systems and organisms to efficiently produce a wide range of chemicals and materials on a large scale. Within this field, significant progress has been made in the development of microbial processes for organic acid production. Through genetic engineering and selective breeding, microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi can be optimized to effectively synthesize organic acids. This approach not only offers a sustainable and cost-effective method for obtaining organic acids used in food and beverage preservation but also enables researchers to enhance yields, optimize production rates, and even introduce novel organic acid varieties with specific properties. Furthermore, the utilization of co-culture systems, where multiple microorganisms work together symbiotically, has emerged as a prominent strategy in industrial biotechnology. By harnessing the synergistic interactions between different microorganisms, co-culture systems have proven to be effective in enhancing organic acid production.
In 2022, the acetic acid segment dominated the organic acid market and is expected to continue its expansion in the coming years. This growth can be attributed to the wide range of applications of acetic acid across various industries, including construction, textiles, and food and beverages. A significant portion of acetic acid production is dedicated to manufacturing vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), a crucial component in the production of construction commodities like paints and adhesives. The textile sector also relies on acetic acid for dyeing operations, where it serves as a buffering agent in the cloth dyeing process. Additionally, the food and beverage industry produces a considerable amount of products targeting the issue of obesity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 39 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2020. As a result, companies have been incorporating fat-reducing agents into their products, with apple cider vinegar being a prominent example. Vinegar, which is a diluted form of acetic acid, acts as a short-chain fatty acid that dissolves with hydrogen and acetate in the body, aiding in fat burning. Therefore, acetic acid is widely utilized in flavoring, food additives, and preservatives.
In terms of end use, the food and beverage segment dominated the organic acid market in 2022 and is projected to continue its expansion in the future. This can be attributed to the increasing demand for organic acid substitutes driven by consumer preferences for a healthy lifestyle and the availability of functional foods and nutrient-rich ready-to-eat meals. Organic acids play a vital role in food processing by reducing antibacterial activities and effectively targeting fungi, including yeast. They also contribute to maintaining dietary acidification and pH levels in ingested foods. According to the European Food and Drink Industry, the EU holds the highest turnover at 44%, followed by the USA at 20%, and China at 19%. With the growing population, it is projected that agricultural production needs to increase by 70% by 2050, rising to nearly 100% in fast-growing or fully developed economies.
The Asia Pacific region has established itself as the leader in the Global Organic Acid market. The Asia-Pacific region boasts a substantial population base and a growing middle class, resulting in heightened consumption of food, beverages, and personal care products. Thus the surge in demand for organic acids, utilized as preservatives and flavor enhancers, has significantly contributed to the region’s prevailing dominance.
Key Market Players
• Celanese Corporation
• Jiangsu sopo chemical co. ltd.
• Eastman Chemicals Company
• Archer Daniels Midland
• Tate and Lyle Plc.
• BASF SE
• Dow Chemical
• BioAmber Inc.
• Henan Jindan Lactic Acid Technology Co., Ltd.
• Nature Works LLC
In this report, the Global Organic Acid Market has been segmented into the following categories, in addition to the industry trends which have also been detailed below:
• Organic Acid Market, By Type:
• Organic Acid Market, By End Use:
–Food & Beverage
• Organic Acid Market, By Region:
–Middle East & Africa
Company Profiles: Detailed analysis of the major companies present in the Global Organic Acid Market.
Global Organic Acid Market report with the given market data, Tech Sci Research offers customizations according to a company’s specific needs. The following customization options are available for the report:
• Detailed analysis and profiling of additional market players (up to five).