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Published: April 2010
Food and beverages accounted for 33% of world consumption of fumaric acid in 2009, followed by rosin paper sizes (20.0%), unsaturated polyester resins (18.6%) and alkyd resins (12.3%). In food and beverage applications, fumaric acid functions as an acidulant and provides the following properties:
- Controls growth of microorganisms (preservation)
- Adjusts pH
- Enhances flavors
Between 2006 and 2009, world capacity for fumaric acid grew at an average annual rate of 1.2%, outpacing world consumption, which declined at an average annual rate of 1.1% during the same period.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of fumaric acid:
World growth prospects for fumaric acid in food and beverages are significant. The main factors behind this growth are:
- Food safety (preservation).
- Desire for convenience (increased popularity of processed foods and ready-to-drink beverages).
- New beverage and food introductions, mainly fruit-flavored beverages and foods, including ethnic and exotic fruit flavors and flavor blends.
- Growing consumption of nutritional bars (including cereal, sports and energy bars), and sports and protein drinks (including fortified and enhanced water). This has opened new applications for fumaric acid. As this category continues to grow, particularly in North America, Europe and Asia, producers are introducing numerous flavor varieties of bars and drinks. However, fumaric acid has not experienced the same level of volume growth in nutritional foods and beverages as other acidulants, since it is used in smaller quantities than citric acid and dl-malic acid because of its stronger acidity.
Demand for fumaric acid in unsaturated polyester resins and alkyd resins is greatly influenced by general economic conditions; both resins depend heavily on construction/remodeling activity (residential and nonresidential) and automotive production. Strong Asian and Latin American demand for unsaturated polyester resins and alkyd resins is tempered by moderate growth for unsaturated polyester resins in most developed regions and negative growth in alkyd resins in the United States and Europe, primarily as a result of environmental regulations. Consumption of fumaric acid in rosin paper sizes is forecast to decline in the United States during 2009–2014 as a result of increased use of alkaline papermaking and the development of more efficient rosin sizes.