The catalytic chemical reaction of enzymes in food has led to the widespread usage of these ingredients in food processing, mainly due to high conversion efficiency and safety. The escalating adoption of food enzymes is therefore expected to continue, with the consumption of packaged and processed foods rising considerably across multiple nations, including the U.S.
According to a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people in the U.S. have increasingly consumed high levels of ultra-processed foods over the past 20 years. The study further revealed that the composition of the average diet of the regional population has shifted towards a more processed diet, thus supporting the growth of the food enzymes market for food preservation applications.
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Enzymes are also continuing to emerge as a specialized class of proteins essential for liver function, digestion, and numerous other body functions, and have become a key area of interest for various research and strategic initiatives in recent years. Given below are 3 such major strategic activities that are strengthening the overall food enzymes business development:
Clinical trials of enzymes to boost protein digestion and gastrointestinal health
Due to their ability to increase nutrient absorption and support healthy digestion, digestive enzymes are gaining popularity, especially among people with irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance. Apart from their potential to treat digestive problems, these enzymes are also hailed as suitable solutions to enhance the health of the gut microbiome in the digestive tract and reduce body mass index, body weight, and fat mass. These factors could augment the use of food enzymes for weight loss and other health applications.
In February 2022, Bio-Cat, Inc. sponsored a clinical study at the University of Illinois to evaluate a digestive enzyme blend’s efficacy in improving gastrointestinal tolerance and protein digestion. This, and many such clinical trials could provide possibilities for improving the understanding of digestive health and contribute to the growing consumption of food-grade enzymes worldwide.
Beneficial uses of enzymes in beverages and bakery products
The application scope of food enzymes is wide-ranging, including the preparation, processing, and treatment of beverages like soft drinks. This class of protein can be used to remove oxygen in bottled soft drinks to reduce the level of browning due to oxidation. As COVID-19 restrictions are gradually lifting worldwide, the demand for beverages for out-of-home consumption is slated to increase, which could consequently assert a positive influence on the food enzymes sector.
Rapidly evolving needs of consumers for baked goods have also been witnessed in regions including North America, which places high emphasis on balancing health and comfort. The use of digestive enzyme supplements in bakery formulations to replace conventional ingredients and improve functionality is therefore slated to increase, as Americans continue to seek products made with better ingredients. The food enzymes industry from the bakery application segment is projected to depict a growth rate of nearly 8% through 2027, according to estimates from Global Market Insights Inc.
Strategic expansion of enzyme and biotech product portfolio
Chemicals companies worldwide are focusing on myriad strategies as a part of their commitment to enzymes and the biotechnology industry. In April 2021, BASF, for example, agreed with Sandoz GmbH to make an investment at the Kundl/Schaftenau Campus located in Austria. This agreement was inked to enable BASF to further expand its production footprint in enzymes and biotech products.
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Along similar lines, DSM revealed the addition of the Maxadjunct ß L adjunct brewing enzyme in its brewing portfolio in October 2020. Derived from bacillus strains, this enzyme innovation was intended to allow brewers to boost the adjunct level in beer. In addition to aiding the transition from malted to local unmalted materials, this innovative enzyme solution was also anticipated to save energy and increase capacity by 25%, allowing the food enzymes market to grow exponentially over the years ahead.
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