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Commercial Amino Acids

Commercial Amino Acids

  • October 2017
  • 142 pages
  • ID: 109212


Table of Contents

• The U.S. amino acid market was valued at around $1.9 billion in 2016. This market will grow from nearly $2.0 billion in 2017 to $2.5 billion by 2022 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% for the period of 2017-2022.
• The animal feeds as a segment of the market will grow from around $1.1 billion in 2017 to nearly $1.4 billion by 2022 with a CAGR of 5.8%.
• The flavorants as a segment of the market will grow from $692 million in 2017 to $824 million by 2022 with a CAGR of 3.6%.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Study Goals and Objectives
This report updates a previous BCC Research study on commercial essential amino acids. It examines the current state of the commercial essential amino acid business, presents an in-depth analysis that forecasts and tracks significant change in the marketplace, and identifies those amino acids with current or potentially greater commercial significance.

Reasons for Doing This Study
Commercial interest in amino acids is an outgrowth of an understanding of the many functions that these life-giving substances perform in humans and animals. As understanding of the functions and properties of amino acids increases, new commercial applications enter development and current commercial uses continue to expand their global markets. New production technology continues to make large-scale production of these products more economical. In turn, increased availability creates newer and larger markets for these vital substances.

Amino acids gained commercial significance shortly after the turn of the 20th century with the discovery of the flavor-enhancing quality of glutamic acid and the marketing of monosodium glutamate in Japan. Increased knowledge of the role amino acids plays in the value of nutritional protein led to their being used to fortify animal feeds, as food supplements for humans and to sustain seriously ill patients who had to be fed with intravenous solutions.

The 20 protein amino acids can be arranged in any order to make any number of polypeptides, so they have great potential for various inventions in the field of medicine. Their current uses in animal feed and food additives will continue to grow, as there are no substitutes for amino acids and their value has been well proven.

Intended Audience
This comprehensive study provides facts, data and insights to senior market and planning executives, venture capitalists and the amino acid product interest community. It will assist manufacturers of products in any of the applicable markets, as well as technical personnel involved in research and development (R&D) of production technology for commercial amino acids.

This especially includes readers in:
• Chemical industry.
• Research institutions involved with studying amino acids.
• Amino acid manufacturing.
• Industries that have amino acid by-products.

Scope of Report
This report outlines the properties of the 20 commercial essential amino acids that are delineated in the genetic code, current and future uses, technology and their manufacturers. It focuses on three commercial amino acid markets: animal feed supplements; flavoring and nutritional additives for human food; and specialty uses, including medical, therapeutic, research and industrial applications. Feed and food applications offer steady growth opportunities to their manufacturers, and their use will continue to grow as a result of both population increases and an overall increase in the global standard of living.

Methodology and Information Sources
Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this study. Much of the information has been gathered through telephone conversations with key industry figures, as well as through conversations with academic experts in amino acid research. The balance of the information comes from secondary sources, including available trade, technical and government publications; an online data search of databases that cover all existing literature; and an evaluation of patents and company and research activities, including foreign work with future applicability in the U.S.

All value of shipments and value of manufacturers’ sales refer to specific markets in the U.S. International figures are provided where appropriate. Volume and value figures are expressed in millions of pounds and millions of dollars unless otherwise indicated. All figures are expressed in constant 2017 U.S. dollars. To make projections for the 2022 time-period, this report relies on information regarding forces affecting specific markets, expected product introductions and anticipated pricing.

In cases in which precise information was not forthcoming, a consensus was reached using a formulation of reasonable assumptions and estimates based on historical data. Projections are for the period from 2017 to 2022.

Amino Acids, by Type
Animal Feed

Food Flavoring
Glutamic acid (MSG)
Aspartic acid


Chapter 2: Summary and Highlights
Twenty amino acids make up the commercial amino acid market. Theses acids play many roles in various fields, including foods, animal feeds, cosmetics, and medicines and biotechnology, as well as in some industrial applications. In dollar terms, the most important current applications are animal feed and human food.

Amino acids are important components in the feeding of livestock, especially poultry. Thus, to achieve maximum growth for minimum costs, methionine and lysine use will continue to grow even if feed crop prices fall. Both methionine and lysine can be synthetically produced, so their cost is no longer tied to feed crop costs.

The three primary categories of commercial amino acids in the U.S. represented a billion-dollar market for the first time in 1999. The U.S. amino acid market surpasses $1.9 billion, with the global market valued at approximately $10.9 billion. China remains the largest producer and consumer, using approximately 30% of the global supply. The U.S. market, which represents 18% of global consumption, is likely to exceed $2.4 billion by 2022.

Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) at the total level for all amino acids will be 4.8% from 2017 to 2022,with large variations in individual amino acids. With anticipated 2017 U.S. annual sales exceeding $1.0 billion, the animal feed supplements market represents the largest market category for amino acids.

Rapid increases will occur as new separation and purification techniques come online for other essential amino acids, as seen with threonine and tryptophan in the past two years, both of which are now bulkproduced commercial animal feeds with falling prices.

Lysine and methionine are the two amino acids widely used to enhance the nutritional value of the protein found in animal feeds. Demand for these two products will remain steady despite new production facilities as livestock populations remain near record high level, due in part to increasing exports and a growing population. The desire for leaner meats and the introduction of repartitioning agents that cause animals to develop more lean muscle instead of fat are raising demand for lysine and methionine.

Threonine and tryptophan are currently produced in commercial quantities for animal feed. Other essential amino acids, including valine, isoleucine and leucine, will be produced as commercial feed additives in the coming years as new production method research develops.

The four amino acids used as food flavoring agents accounted for roughly $3.8 billion globally in 2017. The 3.0% compound annual growth rate is tied to the production and use of the sweetener aspartame. Aspartame has experienced significant negative press and is losing market shares to new low-calorie sweeteners such as Splenda, but it is still widely used. Aspartic acid use will also grow as an additive to detergents.

Specialty uses include feeding solutions, chemical intermediates for drugs and other chemicals, pharmaceutical and biotechnology research, and medical applications. This growth is predicated on increasing research and cosmetic, pharmaceutical and therapeutic uses, as well as enteral/parenteral feeding solutions for a continually aging population, and it incorporates amino health supplements.

Alanine will grow, as it is the basis for low-calorie artificial sweeteners. Arginine and valine should exhibit a high growth rate due to the demand for them in other applications, and isoleucine could find increased use in the animal feed industry if the costs of production can be lowered.

The greatest increase in the use of amino acids will not be for a single acid, but for use in combination with other amino acids. These combinations hold great promise in fighting numerous diseases affecting every major system in the body, including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and many forms of cancer. They are sold as standalone health supplements in many nutrition stores, but combinations are reputed to have additional benefits achieved through proper balancing. Considerable research is focused on the benefits and effects of amino acid balancing, as well as the peptides, enzymes and hormones their combinations produce. Companies such as Penta International and TA Chemical market the salts and esters of amino acids for pharmaceutical applications and report this is a growing business.

The following table summarizes the value and projections for amino acid sales at the manufacturers’ level. The value and projections are based on an analysis of available data and industry interviews.

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