Starter cultures are normally consist of microorganism either present in activated or deactivate mode in liquid, dried or frozen form. Starter cultures are used for the metabolic activity to enhance physical and chemical properties of the product under fermentation processes. Fermentation process, also known as biopreservation in some part of the world, is one of the most cost-effective and popular method of food processing and preservation to meet the rising demand for processed or packaged food and beverages products.
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Starter cultures are applied during the course of different stages of the manufacturing process to get the precise quality of fermentation in the beverages products. The different forms of starter cultures are used as an important constituent for enhancing flavor, texture, and color in both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Starter cultures are also used in various beverages preservation techniques such as drying, salting, high or low temperature treatment, fermentation process, and various advanced and sophisticated preservation techniques such as pulsed electric field technology and high pressure and radiation process. The upgrading technical advancement such as development in the field of metabolomics and genomics in food microbes has opened up many new application perspectives of starter culture. Moreover in modern genetically modified starter culture, the users can pick the desirable properties and can suppress undesirable features within the same starter culture.
On the basis of various product categories, the global starter culture market can be segmented as yeast, bacteria, and molds. Based on the various application of starter culture, the market can be broadly segmented as alcoholic beverages (wine, beer, whisky, vodka, gin and tequila) and non-alcoholic beverages (dairy-based, cereal-based and kombucha). Alcoholic beverages segment hold the majority of share of starter culture market whereas the non alcoholic beverages is offering the highest growth to the market.
The starter culture market is mainly driven by the Increasing global consumption of alcoholic beverages. The rising demand of beer in the developing countries such as Brazil, China and India has boosted the pub made drought beer consumption which in turn is helping the starter culture market in this region. Moreover, starter culture are considered as beneficial for health and used extensively in many non-alcoholic beverages products for health claims.
The prices volatility of raw material of startup culture is acting as a major road block for the market. In addition, various food safety and quality regulations from World Trade Organization (WTO) and European Food Safety Authority & Qualified Presumption of Safety are further hindering the market expansion.
Over the last few years the functional beverages demand has grew and currently it is one of the fasted growing beverages segment. The use of starter culture in non-alcoholic beverages has high potential particularly in functional drinks. The growing acceptance of functional drinks is providing new opportunities for the starter culture market.
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Europe is the largest market of starter culture; it is then closely followed by the North America and Asia Pacific. The high per capita alcoholic beverages consumption in Europe and North America has kept their dominance in starter culture consumption over the years. Asia Pacific is the fasted growing market for starter culture attributed to growing demand of alcoholic and functional beverages in this region.
Some of the major companies operating in global starter culture market include-
- Angel Yeast Co. Ltd.
- Csk Food Enrichment B.V
- Danisco A/S
- Lb Bulgaricum Plc.
- Lesaffre Group
- Wyeast Laboratories Inc.
- Chr. Hansen A/S
- Dohler Group
- Lactina Ltd.