Chitin is a naturally found polymer of N-acetyl glucosamine. Chitin forms a major constituent of fungi cell walls, arthropods exoskeletons and beaks and internal shells of marine animals. Chitin can be segmented based on its derivatives such as glucosamine, chitosan and others. End user applications of chitin include agrochemicals, food & beverages, biotechnology, pulp & paper, healthcare & medicine, photography products, cosmetics, textile finishes among others.
Growing end user applications and surging demand from agrochemicals and healthcare sectors are expected to drive the chitin market. Chitin is a biopolymer and its fat trapping property makes it indispensable to use in healthcare sector. It is claimed to reduce absorption of lipids and fats into body and therefore it is always recommended in weight management program. Chitin is also used to treat bowel syndrome, as this biopolymer has cleansing activities to facilitate better digestion, hence it is also used in dietary supplements and in blood pressure management. Further, growing demand for chitins and its derivatives from water treatment sector is expected to boost the market growth. Need for replacement of synthetic flocculants is aiding the demand for biopolymers. Chitin is used as coagulant, filtration agent for spas and pools, removal of metal ions, treatment of nuclear waste water and de-colorization of dye water and industrial waste treatments. In addition, growing demand from food & beverages industry is expected to further fuel the market growth. Chitin is used as a food preservative to protect cooked food from oxidation and bacterial growth. For example, it is being used to preserve beef and turkey as it significantly decreases bacterial outgrowth during the chilling process. It also stabilizes the food content at high temperature. Additionally,growing demand from other end user industries such as textile, paper & pulp, photography and cosmetics is expected to fuel the market growth. Among end user industries, healthcare and food & beverages are expected to grow at higher pace as compared to others.
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However high production cost, lack of quality product and low production capacities are expected to hamper the market growth. Applications like food and cosmetics require high purity products as it has to get FDA approval for use in formulations. Lack of production technology, lack of awareness about benefits of biopolymers and high patent costs may inhibit the chitin market growth. New applications in field of biomedicine and agrochemicals are poised to fuel future chitin consumption.
Asia Pacific was the largest market of the chitin in terms of consumption. Growing demand from various end user applications are expected to drive the market in this region. Increasing health awareness coupled with growing cholesterol related problem has increased the demand for chitin. This region is expected to grow at higher pace as compared to other regions. Asia Pacific was followed by North America in terms of consumption. Application in biomedicine and cosmetics are expected to fuel the market in this region. Developing countries from Latin America and Middle East are expected to provide opportunities in the near future.
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Some of key players include Navamedic ASA,Biothera,Kunpoong Bio Co. Ltd., CarboMer Inc., Advanced Biopolymers AS, Sonat Co.,Heppe Medical Chitosan GmbH, United Chitotechnologies Inc., Dalian Xindie Chitin Co. Ltd., Meron Biopolymers, QBas Co., PrimexEhf, TaizhouCandorly Sea Biochemical & Health Products Co. Ltd. among others.
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