Beta-carotenes are naturally occurring chemicals that are responsible for the reddish-yellow color in various plants. As a natural color, beta-carotenes are adopted as food colorants in various food processing industries such as beverages, confectionaries, packed foods, and others. Beta-carotenes are sourced from plants, animals, and microbial sources in great quantities, in order to cater to the demand for coloring agents in various end-use industries. Beta-carotenes are rich in antioxidant nutrients, which has created a huge demand in pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements in recent years. Since beta-carotenes are a naturally occurring retinol, they are converted into vitamin A during the digestion process. This further creates the growing demand for beta-carotenes in functional foods and feed processing as a binding ingredient. Due to the presence of high concentration of antioxidants and vitamin A, beta-carotenes also find application in natural and synthetic cosmetics. Due to augmenting applications and rising demand, the beta-carotene market is anticipated to proliferate in terms of value and volume during the forecast period.
Beta-Carotene: Market Outlook
The increasing use of beta-carotene in developing natural colors for various food and beverages has fuelled its popularity among consumers in recent years. Along with food and beverages, beta-carotenes are gaining huge traction in dietary supplements, as consumers are showing more interest towards natural and supplements that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Due to the growing demand for organic and natural cosmetics among consumers, manufacturers and product developers started using beta-carotene as a key ingredient in several cosmetics and personal care products. However, natural beta-carotenes have recently been introduced in organic cosmetics. Due to this, it is expected that, there will be launches of new products with natural ingredients, such as beta-carotene, which is anticipated to drive the growth of the global beta-carotene market during the forecast period. In Europe, beta-carotene is the most preferred colorant used in food processing industries.
Growing Propensity of Beta-Carotene in Food Processing Industries as a Source of Natural Color
Beta-carotenes are widely used in food processing industries as a source of natural color, which provides varied versions of red, yellow, and orange. Due to the emerging demand for natural ingredients and additives, food processing industries have adopted beta-carotenes as a standard coloring agent in various products such as confectionaries, dressings, and other foodstuffs. Thus, the growing consumer awareness regarding the health benefits of natural color sources such as beta-carotenes in recent years is one of the major driving factors of the global beta-carotene market.
High Prevalence of Vitamin A Deficiencies Leading to a Surge in Demand for Beta-Carotene in Functional Foods
The increasing prevalence of vitamin A deficiencies and related diseases in developing economies such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and other South Asian countries has resulted in various public health concerns. As a precursor of vitamin A, beta-carotene is often utilized as a vital fortification ingredient in functional foods such as processed grains, fruit extracts, purees, and others, in order to fight vitamin A deficiencies (VADs). The increasing consumption of beta-carotene as a functional ingredient is anticipated to drive the beta-carotene market in terms of value and volume.
Increasing Penetration of Beta-Carotene in Pharmaceuticals
As an organic compound, beta-carotene has greater application in drug development and carrier medicine processing. In addition, beta-carotenes are rich in antioxidant nutrients that treat oxidative stress and improve cognitive functions, which has created a huge demand for beta-carotenes among drug developers and pharmaceutical manufacturers for developing cognitive medicines, over the past decade. Thus, the pharmaceutical consumption of beta-carotene is one of the strong drivers that is fuelling the growth of the global beta-carotene market.
Dietary Beta-Carotene Reduces Type-2 Diabetes Risk
Owing to their antioxidant properties, beta-carotenes are known to reduce the risk of diabetes. There have been studies associated with the dietary intake of beta-carotenes and the risk of type-2 diabetes. One such study has revealed that, those who follow a diet comprising beta-carotenes and alpha-carotenes present reduced risks of type-2 diabetes among generally healthy men and women.
Rising Incidences of Eye Diseases and Cancer to Boost Beta-Carotene Consumption
Cancer has created a significant social as well as economic health burden – around 8.8 million deaths across the world in 2015, and US$ 87.8 billion expenditure in 2014 for the direct medical cost of cancer treatment in the United States. The World Health Organization estimates that around 253 million people are living with vision disabilities, among which, 36 million are blind, and 217 million people suffer from moderate to severe vision impairment due to vitamin deficiencies. Beta-carotenes have been studied for their anti-carcinogenic properties. The consumption of beta-carotene supplements and medicines formulated with beta-carotenes as a possible prevention of cancer (lung) has been studied extensively. The increasing utilization of beta-carotenes in preventing and curing chronic diseases is likely to escalate its demand in the near future.
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