Protein Hydrolysate Ingredients are a simple, broken-down version of intact and wholesome protein produced specifically for the purpose of obtaining enhanced absorption capabilities. They contain bioactive peptones or peptides that have additional health-benefits over and above the one that is conferred by whole protein. The global market sentiments for this highly-efficient ingredients are very much promising in the backdrop of huge demands for high-quality protein from various end-user segments like infant formula, sports, and clinical nutrition. The protein hydrolysates exhibit the highest bioavailability – meaning that they are almost completely absorbed and utilized into the circulatory system after it is ingested. The superior functionality and wide application spectrum of protein hydrolysate ingredients are expected to drive its global market at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1% during the next five years (2018-2023) according to the Hyderabad based market intelligence firm, Mordor Intelligence.
Infant foods and sports nutrition are acting as a growth engine for protein hydrolysate ingredients market
Protein hydrolysates are produced by breaking down whole protein with the application of acids, alkalis, or enzyme systems. The rupture of whole protein creates small-chain bioactive peptides and free amino acids that are building blocks of protein. These peptides and amino acids are known to exhibit the highest bioavailability, making hydrolysates as an ideal source of protein over isolates and concentrates. Isolates and concentrates are close substitutes of hydrolysates but have comparatively lesser protein content. Moreover, the protein hydrolysates are highly processed and do not contain any allergens making them ideal ingredient of choice for infant formulae and medical nutrition that requires high safety and quality assurance.
The global market for protein hydrolysate ingredients is thus augmented by rising number of women entering formal employment sector and the booming sector of sports endurance. The digestive system of the infant is not well developed and thus, baby food formulators are adopting simpler and easily digestible proteins in the form of hydrolysates that have a high efficacy of absorption and that does not create any gastrointestinal distress. The suitably hydrolyzed protein fractions are identified as a nutrient rather than a foreign entity by the immune system of babies and are thus, made readily available for the subsequent utilization. The sports nutrition products are also emerging as popular diets, not only among the athletes but also among the common consumers and daily exercises. Protein hydrolysates have been scientifically known to provide longer lasting amino acids that are easily absorbed and utilized for the muscle growth. Moreover, the endurance sports sector has been witnessing high demand for protein hydrolysates owing to its better performance and superior functionality. The market has recently witnessed the launch of recovery drinks and energy bars incorporated with high-quality protein hydrolysates. The exponential growth of protein-based food products has paved the way for the robust growth of protein hydrolysates market in the foreseeable future.
Plant-based protein sources are gaining an edge over animal-based proteins
The dairy protein, particularly whey protein and casein, have been widely utilized sources for the production of protein hydrolysates. Whey protein and casein are also intensively incorporated into mother’s milk substitute products. Owing to their wide usage and easy availability, dairy protein has been a leading category of raw materials for the production of protein hydrolysates. Animal-based protein hydrolysates have also been widely utilized for producing hydrolysates due to their superior nutritional composition. Animal-based proteins are rich in sulfur-containing essential amino acids that results in hydrolysates with the enhanced nutritional profile.
The growing demand for plant-based protein products in the backdrop of vegan diet popularity have led manufacturers to explore plant-based protein-rich raw materials. Soy protein is an ideal option for the production of hydrolysates as it is considered as a complete protein (containing all the essential amino acids); it is also abundantly available and has potential health benefits in the form of anti-carcinogenic and anti-hypertensive traits. Consumers are demanding clean label ingredients that are minimally processed and additive-free. The plant-based protein hydrolysates are thus, gaining popularity owing to their potential nutritional applications.
The protein hydrolysates ingredients are undoubtedly an effective way for enhancing the nutritional composition of the carrier foods and medical preparations. However, the cost consideration and quality assurance are the key criteria for any manufacturers to succeed in this category of niche and dynamic market. Geographically, the emerging markets of Asia-Pacific and South America represent an untapped potential for the protein hydrolysate ingredients due to the robust market growth of protein-rich food products.