Impact of COVID-19 on Phycocyanin Market : Implications on Business

Manufactures Increase Production of Phycocyanin to Support Natural Colorants Industry

Revenue of the phycocyanin market accounted to be the highest in Western Europe in 2018, estimated to reach ~US$ 77 million in 2029. Currently, ~60% of Europeans consume functional foods, and a higher number of women consume functional beverages. As such, manufacturers are introducing patent-protected phycocyanin food additives. This indoor-grown pigment serves as a cost-efficient option for stakeholders in the food sector.

The food industry is experiencing a shift in consumer preference, from artificial ingredients to natural ingredients. This changing trend has triggered the production of phycocyanic, which acts as a nutritious protein-pigment complex in several food and beverage applications. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are increasingly gaining consumer attention as far as food supplements are concerned.

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Since the development of natural blue ingredients is a challenge, manufacturers are innovating on phycocyanin, which is naturally found in spirulina algae. For instance, in August 2019, ScotBio – a producer of all-natural food colorants and proteins, announced an increase in its production of phycocyanin for stakeholders in the natural colorants market.

phycocyanin market infographic

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Several Food & Beverage Applications Increase Scope for Market Growth

The food and beverage (F&B) market is estimated to reach ~US$ 16 trillion by 2020. That is why, manufacturers are targeting stakeholders in the F&B space to increase the application of phycocyanin in confectionaries, ice creams, and beverages. Since phycocyanin provides more stability as compared to other natural blue colorants, stakeholders in the F&B landscape are increasingly using this pigment for alcoholic beverages.

As the F&B industry is rapidly growing, manufacturers are increasing the production of indoor-grown, high-quality, and pure phycocyanin. To achieve this, they are growing their own spirulina algae in custom-growing facilities to extract five times more algae as compared to extracting phycocyanin from open pond systems, which also serves as a cost-effective option for them.

Stakeholders in the hospitality space are using phycocyanin to develop sugar-free food and beverage options. The blue pigment is mixed with different bulking agents and sugars to provide flexibility in the formulation stage to food professionals. Manufacturers are focusing on expanding their product portfolios of different ingredients with the help of synthetic biology. This helps them improve the quality, quantity, and stability of phycocyanin through non-transgenic genetic modification.

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Patented Systems and Cost-competitive Techniques Ensure Year-round Supply

The phycocyanin market is moderately fragmented, which creates opportunities for new players to enter the market. However, stringent regulations by government authorities have created an added pressure over existing and emerging market players to comply with the same.

Growing awareness about clean-label ingredients amongst consumers has created challenges for manufacturers to achieve certain production requirements. For instance, the introduction of clean-label ingredients has forced manufacturers to ensure end-to-end traceability, maintain the security of supply, and establish a controlled environment. As such, manufacturers are developing patented systems that are integrated with special red lighting that helps in the production of all-natural ingredients.

The high demand for phycocyanin has created a shortage in the marketplace. Extracting phycocyanin from open pond systems serves as an easy and convenient option for manufacturers. However, these pond systems are prone to high risks of contamination. As such, manufacturers are adopting the cost-competitive method of growing their own spirulina algae to ensure the year-round supply of phycocyanin.

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