Mannosylerythritol lipids are natural biosurfactant that possess superior biochemical, emulsification and dispersing properties. They have a wide range of application across residential as well as non-residential applications such as personal care, oilfield chemicals, food processing, industrial, agricultural chemicals, household detergents, and textiles. They are also used in the treatment of dopamine metabolic dysfunction diseases, schizophrenia, and microbial infections. Moreover, they are also used in the production of biopesticide in the agriculture sector. In the oil &gas industry it is used in hydrocarbon fuels as a pour point depressant. It is gaining huge demand on the account of the rising introduction of bio-based products subjected to the rising concern over the environment.

The global Mannosylerythritol lipids market is estimated to account for around US$ 2879.4 million in terms of value in the year 2018 and it predicted to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period (2019-2027)


Growing demand for mannosylerythritol lipids from the pharmaceutical industry in the formulation of the anti-cancer drug is expected to propel the market growth. Mannosylerythritol lipids used in the preparation of anti-agglomeration agents of lectins and ice-water slurry such as Immunoglobulin G. Moreover, due to its excellent biochemical properties, it is also used to treat dopamine metabolic dysfunction diseases, schizophrenia, and microbial infections. This is projected to foster market growth.

Market Opportunities

The growth in the textile industry is expected to accelerate the market growth of mannosylerythritol lipids. It is used as a biosurfactant in the textile industry. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, India’s textiles sector is one of the oldest industries in Indian economy dating back several centuries. Its overall textile exports during 2017-18 stood at US$ 39.2 billion in 18 and are expected to increase to US$ 82.00 billion by 2021.

Market Restraints

The high cost of microbial biosurfactants, such as mannosylerythritol lipids as compared to plant-derived are projected to hinder the market growth of mannosylerythritol lipids over the forecast period. Hence, cost competitiveness is a major factor for MEL manufacturers and this is projected to hamper the adoption of mannosylerythritol lipids, in turn hindering the market growth.

Key Takeaways:

On the basis of end-use industries, the personal care & cosmetic segment dominated the global mannosylerythritol lipids market in 2018 with a 30.3% of market share in terms of value, followed by Household detergent and pharmaceutical industry

Market Trends

Many players in the mannosylerythritol market are adopting customization of their product portfolio in order to meet the required features with respect to the specific end-user requirements. Moreover, these key players are providing high value-added mannosylerythritol lipids for expanding their market share. This is projected to accelerate market growth over the forecast timeframe.

Growing usage of mannosylerythritol lipids in the production of bio-based fertilizers is exepcted to stimulate market growth. Market growth can also be attributed to growth in the agriculture industry. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, Agriculture, food, and related industries contributed US$1.053 trillion to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, a 5.4-percent share.



In the recent past, regulatory bodies have begun implementing regulations mandating the reduction of VOC emissions, due to rising environmental concerns and deteriorating air quality across the globe


Directive 2004/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on the limitation of emissions of VOCs due to the use of organic solvents in certain paints and varnishes and vehicle refinishing products and amending Directive 1999/13/EC

Regulation (EU) No 259/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 amending Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 as regards the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in consumer laundry detergents and consumer automatic dishwasher detergents

EU Regulation 648/2004/EC on detergents (the Detergent Regulation) on placing detergents on the market and the contents of non-ionic surfactants in detergents. 

According to this regulation, all surfactants must be completely aerobically biodegradable according to harmonized test-methods as laid down in the Regulation.


The “VOC” directive that aims to reduce ozone formation potential of VOCs in connection with photochemical reactions in ambient air defines 12 subcategories for coating products applied to buildings and five subcategories for vehicle refinishing products for which limits are set with regard to VOC content. The maximum permissible VOC content range is 30–840 g/l, depending on the product.

Effect on MEL Market

Owing to regulations related to VOC emissions, there is an increasing demand for bio-based surfactants globally, which hinders demand for conventional chemical-based surfactants. Major manufacturers are shifting focus towards marketing of microbial bio-surfactants such as MEL so as to comply with regulations.

Competitive Section

Key players operating in the global mannosylerythritol lipids market includes Toyobo Co. Ltd., Biotopia Co. Ltd., Damy Chemicals Co. Ltd., and Kanebo Cosmetics (Formulator)

Market Taxonomy

By End-use Industry

  • Household Detergents
    • Laundry
    • Dish Wash
  • Personal Care & Cosmetics
    • Skincare
    • Hair Care
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Food
  • Others

By Region

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa


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