Citric acid is a weak organic acid predominantly used in food, beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, and chemical applications. Citric acid is a natural preservative, chelating agent, flavoring agent, and acidulant. Naturally citrus acid occurs in citrus fruits such as grapes, oranges, and lemons. Industrial production of citric acid is carried out by fermentation of A. Niger. Citric acid is among the most widely used food additive worldwide and is approved as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration.
Food and beverages segment held a market share of around 73% in the global citric acid market. Carbonated soft drinks accounted for major share in food and beverage segment. The pharmaceutical industry utilizes citric acid as an excipient due to its anti-oxidant properties. Citric acid also being a chelating agent is used in detergents and soaps. It is used in home care materials and is also utilized for regeneration of ion exchange materials in water softeners.
Increasing adoption of citric acid by food industry has contributed to its market growth. The food industry utilizes citric acid for fermenting, catalyzing, preserving, and flavoring. The use of citric acid in food & beverages increases the shelf life of products by creating an acidic environment, which is non-conducive for microorganism survival.
Utilization of lactic acid as a substitute for citric acid is expected to hinder growth of the citric acid market. Lactic acid is also used as a food preservative, curing agent, and flavoring agent. Moreover, concerns regarding using Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) sources for sucrose and glucose, which is used in the citric acid manufacturing process may restrain growth of the citric acid market.
Europe held the dominant position in for citric acid market in 2017. The region is expected to account for around 28% of the global citric acid demand. This is largely due to the thriving food & beverage industry in the region. According to European Union statistics, the food industry in European Union was valued at US$ 1.08 trillion in 2014. The region also had a trade surplus of around US$ 35 billion due to the food & beverages industry
Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing region in citric acid market due to the fast growing food & beverages industry in the region. According to Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India’s was the sixth largest food & beverage industry in the world. China was the largest producer of citric acid in 2016, and it is projected to maintain its dominance in terms of production over the forecast period. According to UN Comtrade statistics, China held a share of around 48% in world exports of citric acid. India, Japan, and European Union were among the major importers of citric acid from China. Players based in China are focused on geographic expansion. Anhui BBCA Biochemical Co., Ltd in 2014, commissioned a 60,000 ton/year plant in Hungary. The plant will serve the food processing industries in Central and Western Europe.
Key Market Players
Market players have responded to the steadily increasing market demand for citric acid by capacity expansions. Jungbunzlauer Suisse AG in 2018, announced the plans for a new citric acid manufacturing facility in Austria. Companies in China, which is projected to be among the fastest growing countries in the citric acid market have announced expansion to existing capacities. For instance, RZBC Group Co. Ltd. completed its capacity expansion in 2014. The total capacity of the company reached 250,000 mt/year, equivalent to 23% of the total capacity for citric acid in China.
Major players operating in the global citric acid market include Tate & Lyle plc, Jungbunzlauer Suisse AG, Cargill Inc., Archer Daniel Midlands Company, Anhui BBCA Biochemical Co. Ltd., Gadot Biochemical Industries Ltd., Huangshi Xinghua Biochemical Co.Ltd., and RZBC Group Co., Ltd.
On the basis of product type, the global citric acid market is segmented into:
On the basis of end-use industry, the global citric acid market is segmented into:
- Food & Beverages
On the basis of region, the global citric acid market is segmented into:
- North America
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Middle East
- Rest of Middle East
- North Africa
- Central Africa
- South Africa