Food binders are food additives that are added to the food products for the purpose of improving the texture via thickening or binding the ingredients together. Food binders are sometimes also referred to as food fillers because of their property to increase the volume and mass of a food product without adding any nutritional value to it. Food binders have been in traditional use since long now. Many starches found naturally act as a food binder. In culinary practices, starches, pectin, and agar-agar are commonly used as food binders, especially in desserts and sauces. Most of the food binders that are used are naturally derived owing to an economic feasibility and superior results. Gums are most commonly used commercial food binders, in fast food products, meat products, and meat substitutes, dairy products etc. gums are relatively inexpensive and deliver a product that is of superior organoleptic parameters.
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Growing fast food culture is dependent on food binders
The global fast-food culture is moving at a fast rate, especially in developing countries where growing fast food chains and a likening towards western culture has created a thriving fast food culture. Food binders play an important role in the fast food culture in more than one ways. Most of the fast food products, utilize food binders. The food binders are utilized for two major reasons. First is the improvement of texture and juiciness of the fast food products, which are major characteristics as to why people like them. And secondly to increase the volume. Not all food binders increase the volume of food product they’re added in, but some that are used majorly in fast food products such as carrageenan and cellulose, have a tendency to absorb water and increase the volume. The addition of as little as 0.1% of carrageenan as a food binder can increase the volume of the product by as much as 8%. Moreover, the food production cannot keep up with the growing demand for food products so the addition of binders as fillers has become a norm in the fast food industry.
The rise of meat substitutes/meat analogs is a major driving factor for food binders
Globally, developing regions are witnessing a shift from the non-vegetarian diet to a more sustainable vegetarian diet. This shift in the food preferences still has a trail of the requirement of food products that resemble meat and meat products but are not derived from meat. This is where the emerging market for meat substitutes and food binders comes into the picture. The number of available meat substitutes is growing, and with it, the demand for food binders is also on the rise. Since food binders are an integral ingredient of meat substitutes, the growth in demand for food binders is proportional to that of meat substitutes. This also indicates the rising demand for plant-derived food binders as well since the meat substitutes cannot utilize animal-derived food binders such as gelatin.
By source, the global food binders market is segmented as:
- Potato starch
- Tapioca starch
- Guar gum
- Xanthan Gum
- Fibers (cellulose)
- Agar agar
- Soy proteins
By application, the global food binders market is segmented as:
- Meat products and meat analogs
- Processed foods
- Sports nutrition products
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Global Food binders market: key players
Some of the key players in the global food binders market are A.F. SUTER & CO. LTD, Ettlinger Corporation, Cargill, Incorporated, Ingredion, Deosen Biochemical Ltd, DuPont Nutrition & Health, Fufeng Group, CP Kelco, LOTTE Fine Chemical, Tate & Lyle, Roquette Freres SA, Foodchem International etc.