The specialty yeast market is set to expand by 7.4% by 2026, Business Merseyside reports. The market was valued at USD 2.7 billion in 2019, and is set to reach USD 4 billion by 2025, according to Markets and Markets.
According to the publication, “specialty yeasts are used for producing alcoholic beverages, ethanol production, baking, bioremediation, nutritional supplements, genetically engineered biofactories, and aquarium hobbies.”
The upsurge in demand is attributed to the growing awareness of the nutritional benefits of specialty yeasts, and the use of yeast extracts as a cost-effective food ingredient. It is widely used as a flavouring for convenience foods, sauces, and is used in baked goods, and processed meats.
The demand is also partly a result of the growing interest in ‘functional foods.’ These are foods that, either by artificial modification or naturally, have additional health benefits over and above the nutritional value. This is because they include vitamins and minerals, or probiotics, which have been proven to protect against disease and inflammation.
Modified functional foods are often labelled as ‘fortified.’ Examples include milk, yoghurt, breakfast cereals, bread, and alternative milk products, which often have added iron and vitamin B. Natural functional foods typically include fruits and vegetables which are rich in anti-oxidants, fermented foods which contain probiotics, and seafood rich in omega-3.
Specialty yeasts are used in foods labelled ‘plant-based alternatives’, which are part of the rapidly growing meat-free food market. In the UK, all major supermarkets now carry their own brand of meat-free ranges, and the sales are expected to reach £1.1bn within the next two years.
World-wide, interest in vegan and whole foods is also growing. There is also demand from the pharmaceutical industry and the alcoholic beverage production industry for specialty yeasts.
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