Though they do not add any nutritional value, anti-caking agents are frequently used as additives to prevent the formation of lumps or caking in packaged and stored powdered or granulated materials. Some anti-caking agents are soluble in water while some are soluble in alcohols or organic solvents. They work by absorbing moisture or by coating particles, which makes them water-repellent. Anti-caking agents also aid in transportation and consumption of these materials. There are several anti-caking agents available in the market such as tricalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium ferrocyanide, powdered cellulose, magnesium stearate, stearic acid, calcium ferrocyanide, potassium aluminium silicate, magnesium trisilicate, and polydimethylsiloxane.
For example, sodium bicarbonate is an anti-caking agent used in table salts, dried milk, sugar products, egg mixes, and flours. In Europe, potassium ferrocyanide and sodium ferrocyanide are common anti-caking agents for table salts. Anti-caking agents are categorized into natural and man-made. Natural anti-caking agents such as calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate are exponentially expensive than man-made ones, and hence are sparingly used. Due to a thriving food and beverage industry and various other factors, the global market for anti-caking agents is expected to expand at a healthy CAGR during the forecast period of 2014 to 2020.
The global market for anti-caking agents is primarily driven by the growing level of consumer inclination toward the benefits of packaged food and the desire to spend more for better quality food. The growth of the food and beverage industry is leading to the requirement of advanced food-coating ingredients such as coffee, cocoa, chocolate powders, baking powder, and instant soup powder. Anti-caking agents not only help in maintaining the free-flowing ability of packaged materials, they also enhance the texture and other organoleptic properties.
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The report also picks out some of the other factors that are positively influencing the global anti-caking agents market, such as changing consumer tastes, especially among the urban population and rising global population with disposable income. High demand for anti-caking agents in confectionery, cereals, coffee, fresh meat, and dried foods is expected to further expand the market during the forecast period. Conversely, various regulations pertaining to the use of anti-agents under the European Food Safety Authority is expected to hinder the growth rate.
In 2014, Europe served the maximum demand for ant-caking agents and is expected to continue as the most prominent regional market during the forecast period. However, with a vast population base and increasing preference of westernized eating habits, consumers in Asia Pacific are quickly extending their demand and the report projects it as the most lucrative upcoming market until 2020. North America also contributes significantly to the demand in the global market for anti-caking agents due to the busy lifestyle of people in the region.
Some of the prominent players in the global market for anti-caking agents are Evonik Industries AG, PPG Industries, Inc., Brenntag AG, Univar Inc., Solvay S.A., Agropur Ingredients, Huber Engineered Materials, International Media and Cultures, Inc., PQ Corporation, and Sweetener Supply Corp.