Gelatin is a brittle, colorless, water soluble, translucent substance with high molecular weight. It is a rich source of protein derived from collagen present in animals such as bovines, pig, sheep and fish. Gelatin is viscous semi-solid gel; its general composition includes 85% to 90% protein, 2% to 4% mineral salts and 8% to 12% water. Edible gelatin is the most common form available that does not contain additives or preservatives. Non-edible gelatins are used mostly in cosmetics and photography.
The growing application in food & beverage, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals industries is a key factor responsible for the growing demand for gelatin. The growing awareness among the health conscious people supplemented with the rise in aged population is expected to further fuel the gelatin market growth. However, being an animal derived product, gelatin market faces barriers due to cultural choices and regulatory restrictions, which could hinder the demand for gelatin over the forecast period.
Pig skin consists of large amounts of collagen; hence it was used for manufacturing gelatin on a large scale. Pig skin accounted for over 42% of the market share that was utilized in manufacturing gelatin. Bones and bovine hides were the two largest raw material segment that accounted for over 55% of market share. Bone is the fastest growing raw material segment as bones of pigs and cows consists of large quantities of collagen.
In recent years, usage of gelatin has increased steadily in food and nutraceuticals industries. This is due to the rise in demand for low fat, healthy and high protein food, particularly among the health conscious people. Food & beverage application segment accounted for over 28% of the gelatin market share while nutraceuticals, the second largest application market, accounted for over 25%.
Europe was the largest consumer of gelatin in 2011 and accounted for over 40% of the global production in 2011. The implementation of stringent regulatory policies in Europe in context to the control of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) helped the gelatin market grow. Europe was followed by North America in terms of volumes of gelatin manufactured and accounted for over 23% of the global production in 2011. Germany and France were the primary consumers of gelatin in Europe, together, accounting for over 50% of the Europe’s consumption. China is expected to register the fastest growth among all regions owing to the stimulus offered by the government for development of infrastructure in the region.
The gelatin market is concentrated in nature with the top five companies accounting for 70% of the market share in 2011. Rousselot S.A.S was the largest manufacturer of gelatin in 2011 and accounted for over 26% of the market share by volume. Gelita AG and PB Gelatin were the next largest companies in the gelatin market, together, accounting for over 34% of the market share in 2011. Both these companies provide excellent after sales service to their customers. The other key players in the gelatin market include Sterling Gelatin, Weishardt Group among others