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Published: May 2010
Wine, food and beverages accounted for approximately 68% of world consumption of tartaric acid in 2009; global consumption in these applications is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 3.4% during 2009–2014. Other applications for tartaric acid include cement and gypsum (as a set-retardant and antisolidifying agent in the production of plaster and cement, as well as an anticaking agent in gypsum processing), effervescent antacids and as a synthetic intermediate for pharmaceuticals.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of tartaric acid:
World consumption growth for tartaric acid in wine, food and beverages is significant. The main factors behind this growth are:
- Growing demand for wine in all regions, particularly in Asia.
- 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. Tartaric acid is typically used with other acidulants to provide the right balance of flavor and cost. Nutritional and fortified beverages and foods are also expected to increase demand for tartaric acid.
- Food safety (preservation); longer shelf lives are anticipated as more food and beverages are consumed days or weeks after production.
Wine accounts for most of the consumption in North and South America, Australia, the Middle East and Africa (mainly South Africa). Pharmaceuticals account for the most consumption of tartaric acid in Asia, largely in China. Demand growth in wine, food and beverages is the main factor for growth in most world regions except Asia; pharmaceuticals, food and beverages account for most of the growth in Asia at present simply because of the minor presence of wine production.