Published October 2014
In 2013, beverages (both liquids and powders, mainly fruit-flavored beverages) accounted for 48% of the world consumption of DL-malic acid; confections and food accounted for most of the remainder, at 37%. Newer applications in detergents, where DL-malic acid can replace citric acid, and animal feeds, where DL-malic acid acts as an antimicrobial agent and provides taste, are expected to help increase demand.
In most applications, DL-malic acid provides the following functions:
- Enhances flavors
- Provides sourness/tartness
- Controls growth of microorganisms (preservation)
- Adjusts pH (as an acidulant)
The following pie chart shows world consumption of DL-malic acid:
World growth in demand for DL-malic acid relies heavily on production of beverages, confections and food. Although there are regional differences in food tastes and preferences, the major trends driving demand for DL-malic acid in food, confections and beverages appear to be similar in many regions.
- 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.
- Concern over health and nutrition, health consciousness.
- Increased use of high-intensity sweeteners in beverages and food.
- Growing consumption of nutritional bars (including cereal, sports and energy bars), and sports, energy and protein drinks (including fortified and enhanced water).
In 2013, Asia accounted for 43% of the world consumption of DL-malic acid, followed by North America at 28%, and Europe with 17%. This distribution reflects the fact that markets for ready-to-drink beverages and processed foods are highly developed. Growth in demand is highest in the developing markets of Asia, Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe, where concerns about health and nutrition are relatively nascent, and diet products and nutritional foods and beverages have less market penetration. Demand in these markets is also forecast to increase as the popularity of processed food and ready-to-drink beverages grows, along with improving living standards.