COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
The global Starch market is projected to reach 156. 3 million metric tons by 2025, driven by its indispensable use in both food and non-food sectors. Popular raw materials for starch production include potato; maize; wheat; tapioca, and cassava. These raw materials are rich in starch, approximately 80% starch and the remaining composed of fibber, lipids and protein. The food processing industry remains the largest established application area supported by increased demand for convenience foods at the back of growing number of working women, higher disposable incomes and preference for easy meal and snack options. In the food industry, starch is a versatile additive valuable in imparting viscosity, stability, creaminess, texture, and mouth feel to food products. "Clean label" revolution underway in the food industry is driving demand for pure and native corn/rice/tapioca/ potato starch at the expense of "modified corn starch". A naturally occurring polymer, starch is also an excellent pharmaceutical excipient given its non-toxic properties. Starch-based adhesives are growing in popularity in industrial packaging applications where they are increasingly being valued for their cost benefits, recyclability, easy solubility and dispersion in water; excellent heat resistance; increased stability and shelf-life. The market also stands to benefit from the massively growing popularity of organic foods and the ensuing demand for organic certified starch; growing concerns over gluten, rise in gluten intolerance and the resulting interest in modified food starch from corn as against wheat starch; increased use of starch and starch derivatives in detergents and textiles as a result of the growing stringency of environmental regulations; significant advancements in starch science; development of innovative starch extraction and modification techniques; emerging new uses of starch and starch derivatives such as in starch-based biodegradable plastics/starch-composite plastics, and starch based binders for metal injection molding. Rising prices of gelatine is throwing the spotlight on starch as an affordable alternative.
Starch-based biodegradable polymers have been gaining prominence in the recent years due mainly to its abundant availability, the relatively low price, and eco-friendly profile, all of which present them as ideal replacements for petrochemical-based polymers. Starch blended biodegradable polymers are formed through the combination of synthetic polymers and are capable of breaking down into various types of natural by-products such as biomass, water, inorganic salts and gases. These polymers combine the physical attributes of polymers and the biodegradable nature of starch. With starch content in the 10-90% range, starch-based polymers are crystalline in nature and are also relatively easy to process. On an industrial scale, starch blended biodegradable polymers are produced through the processing of low-density polyethylene, ethylene acrylic acid copolymer, and starch in a mix of glycerin and water. Since the properties of starch-based polymers are similar to that of low-density polyethylene (LDPE), these are widely used in the production of bags for recycling of organic waste, packaging, hygiene products and in agricultural applications. Asia-Pacific including China is a major market led by favorable economic climate, growing population, robust food processing industry, expanding manufacturing sector as a result of shifting of production bases to low cost Asian countries and strong growth of paper mills and packaging sectors in China, India, Russia, and Brazil.