The golden period for packaged foods with low nutritional values seems to nearing its end, as the world is making a move back to the age-old healthy-eating praxis. A rapidly-multiplying number of health-conscious consumers are trusting the tried-and-tested ways to add more nutrients in their daily diet by developing a propensity for natural food ingredients; natural antioxidants are no exception.
The global sales of natural antioxidants increased at a compound annual growth rate of ~5% between 2014 and 2018, generating the revenue of around US$ 1.6 billion by 2018. Though consumers are inclining towards the old-fashioned way of getting more nutrients, the change is not limited merely to the shift from synthetic to natural antioxidants. Today’s consumers do not simply want natural antioxidants; they want high-quality natural antioxidants, which is driving them to weight organic variants higher than the conventional ones.
Consumers’ appetite for more and better nutrients is fueling innovations not only in the food industry but also in the cosmetics industry, as the demand for organic cosmetics has reached a new high in the past few years. But is the belief ‘organic is better’ really valid in case of antioxidants? Are stakeholders from the natural antioxidants industry sleepwalking into this new, potentially ephemeral trend?
Sales of Organic Antioxidants Grow as Price Becomes a Secondary Concern
Health concerns among the modern consumers have diverted their attention from price tag to the ingredients list on the product they are willing to purchase. Health concerns have grown tremendously, and consequently, the sales of organic food products are growing at an impressive rate despite their high prices over their conventional counterparts. This is reflecting in the changing dynamics of the natural antioxidants market.
Increasing demand for healthy and organic food products, such as organic snacks, organic meat, and organic drinks, is driving sales of organic antioxidants in the food industry. Food manufacturers are shifting from conventional to organic sources of various ingredients, including natural antioxidants, while manufacturing organic food products.
The adoption of organic sources of natural antioxidants is increasing at an incremental rate in various dairy products, such as organic cheese—global sales of organic cheese are likely to account for over US$ 3 billion by 2022. Another organic dairy product that is gaining massive demand is organic milk powder; the sales reached US$ 2 billion in 2018 and are set to increase at ~5.5% during 2017-2027. Positive growth prospects of the organic dairy industry may create more profitable opportunities for stakeholders in the natural antioxidant market.
Organic Fruits and Vegetables May Contain More Natural Antioxidants
A mounting number of consumers are making a move towards vegetarian foods, plant-based beverages, even plant-based snacks, as their food preferences are mainly focused on the health-benefitting properties and nutrients in them. Recent studies have also proven the presence of more nutrients in natural or plant-based food products.
A British Journal of Nutrition study found that organic fruits and vegetables contain approximately 20% to 40% more antioxidants than their conventional variants. Another study was conducted at the University of Barcelona, which found that organic tomatoes contain higher levels of antioxidants than conventionally produced tomatoes. Along with the higher polyphenol content in juice and ketchup made with organic tomatoes, the study also found 34 different phenolic compounds in organic tomatoes.
With the growing awareness about the evidence that proves that organic foods are, in fact, healthier and contains significant higher amount of nutrients than conventional foods. Taking into consideration this trend, the sales for organic variants in the natural antioxidants market are expected to increase at more than 8% during 2019-2029, and this is likely to trigger new trends in the natural food ingredients industry.
Natural Antioxidants: How much is Too Much and How ‘Organic’ can Help
While consumers are making a decision on purchasing food products that contain organically-sourced natural antioxidants, a very few know about the scientific insights on how much is enough when it comes to consuming antioxidants. Though antioxidants have multiple health benefits as they neutralise free radicals molecules, its consumption beyond a certain limit can prove detrimental to health.
Researchers and scientists from the University Of Utah School Of Medicine and other medical institutions conducted a laboratory-based animal study to come to a conclusion that that too much antioxidant can also damage cells by causing make atoms gain electrons, which can lead to degenerative diseases, such as cardiomyopathy. Another study led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine and Perlmutter Cancer Center found that taking too much Vitamin E and antioxidants may cause the same increases in cancer’s ability to spread. The awareness about the potential side effects of consuming too much antioxidants is relatively lower than their health benefits, and this reflects in exponentially growing demand for organic sources of natural antioxidants over gaining extra quantity. However, consumers’ inquisitiveness about the factors linked to their health shows no signs of fading, and this may change the picture in the natural antioxidants market in the coming years.
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