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The global starter cultures' market size is estimated to be around 1 billion USD in 2020, and by 2025 it is projected to reach 1.3 billion USD at a growth rate of 5.5%. The demand for starter culture is propelling due to the growing demand for dairy and dairy-based food and meat, including seafood. There is an increase in the consumption of traditional beverages.

Market Drivers

Due to innovative experiments and the advancement of new technologies in the food and beverage sector, starter cultures have been dominant in the European Market. This can be attributed to its high consumption of processed food, whereas the Asia Pacific region is growing fastest due to new technologies and an increase in food and beverage export. There is an increase in demand for starter culture due to dairy-based products' growing production, including meat and seafood. The starter culture market has shown consistent growth over the years due to rising awareness of the benefits of using starter cultures and increasing manufacturers. In dairy applications, the starter culture has been used for a long time. Starter cultures are used for fermentation to occur during cheese, yogurt, butter, and kefir manufacturing. To produce lactic acid, yogurt starter cultures are used for fermentation, and this process helps in the formation of milk clots which are a characteristic of yogurt. The starter cultures of cheese mostly consist of thermophilic bacteria, which aid in lactic acid production during the industrial manufacturing of cheese. The main factor in the expulsion of moisture from the cheese curd is acid production, which helps improve the quality and texture of the cheese produced. Back slopping or back inoculation is the process in which there is the use of starter cultures in meat products resulted from adding a portion of the final meat products to their raw materials and as a result of which the part of the already fermented batch of sausages was thrown back into the new mix. In meat production, starter cultures are majorly used to standardize product properties such as flavor and color, shorten the ripening period, and ensure the meat item's safety. Major hindrances stifling the starter cultures market are the stringent regulations. In applications related to dairy, meat, seafood, and beverage market, starter cultures are used.

Moreover, the second phase of starter cultures is expected to cover vegetables, fruits, and other food substances. Meat, seafood, and alcoholic beverages are the existing markets of starter cultures as it continues to present avenues for growth since the manufacturer's participation in this segment are still minimal. Currently, the starter culture has its application in fermented foods and dairy products; however, advancements of new strain types and mixed multi- strains are expected to expand the capabilities to non-fermented products, including other food types. In starter culture, raw materials' prices are volatile, leading to uncertainty in the food and beverages market. In beet or cane molasses, yeast grows and these are the primary substrates for its production. The prices of molasses are increasing over the last few years, and their use is increasing in other industrial applications such as feed and bioethanol production. On sugar substrates such as sugar syrup, yeast also grows. Thus, there is a direct impact on the price of yeast starter culture due to increased sugar cost. In Europe, the dairy products market has played a key role in driving the starter cultures market's growth. This is where it holds dominance. The key producers of dairy products are Germany and France and the products range from milk to cheese, where they keep the dominant position in the European Union.

Key Market Players

The key market players are:

  • Chr. Hansen (Denmark), 
  • DSM (Netherlands), 
  • DuPont (US), 
  • Genesis Laboratories (Bulgaria), 
  • Sacco SRL (Italy), 
  • Mediterranea Biotecnologie SRL (Italy),
  • Biochem SRL (Italy), 
  • Dalton Biotecnologie SRL (Italy), 
  • THT S.A. (Belgium), 
  • CSK Food (Netherlands), 
  • IGEA SRL (Italy), 
  • Codex-ing Biotech Ingredients (US), 
  • Bioprox (France), 
  • Benny Impex. (US), 
  • ABsource Biologics (India), 
  • Alliance India (India), 
  • Lactina Ltd. (Bulgaria), 
  • BDF Natural Ingredients (Spain), 
  • GEM Cultures (US), 
  • Kultured Wellness (Australia), 
  • Benebios Inc. (US), 
  • Binea (Canada), and 
  • Biolacter Inc. (Italy).

Market Segmentation

By Application

  • Dairy & dairy based products 
    • Cheese 
    • Yogurt 
    • Butter & cream 
    • Other dairy products
  • Meat & seafood 
  • Others

Others are bread and fruit juices

By Microorganism

  • Bacteria 
  • Yeast 
  • Mold

By Composition

  • Multi-strain mix 
  • Single strain 
  • Multi-strain

By Form

  • Freeze-dried 
  • Frozen

By Region:

  • North America (The U.S. and Canada)
  • Europe (U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Poland, Turkey, Switzerland, and Rest of Europe)
  • Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, South Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Rest of Asia Pacific)
  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, Argentina, Chile, and Rest of Latin America)
  • Middle East & Africa (South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Egypt, and Rest of Middle East & Africa)

Recent Developments

  • DuPont in the year 2019 introduced the dairy culture series under the brand, Danisco and it has launched several other products catering to the demand from North America and European regions.
  • DSM launched its new Delvo chees in July of 2019, a 120 culture range catering to the dairy market's needs.

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