Increasing use of renewable resources coupled with rise in environmental awareness is likely to drive soy-based surfactants market. Global biosurfactants market size is estimated to exceed 500 kilo tons by 2023 growing at a CAGR of over 4% and is likely to be worth more than USD 2.5 billion by 2023.
Soybeans are an important source of three natural products namely soy lecithin, protein and saponin. Lecithin dominated the soy-based surfactants market demand over the past few years. Global soy oilseed production was estimated at more than 280 million tons in 2014.
Stringent government regulations owing to environmental concerns are likely to hamper synthetic detergent demand. Renewable materials such as seed oils & animal fats coupled with technological advancements are likely to counter challenges for soy-based surfactants market growth. Seed oil substitution can significantly reduce carbon footprints into the atmosphere.
Lecithin can be derived from animal source such as egg yolk, but is too expensive for industrial applications. It is predominantly obtained from plant seeds, particularly oilseeds as they are abundantly available at competitive pricing. Soy lecithin market finds preference in industrial applications to be used as a stabilizer, antioxidant, emulsifier, nutritional supplement and wetting agent owing to structural & compositional properties. Soy-based surfactants market price trend will be critical in determining industry acceptance.
Soy lecithin was granted GRAS status by the FDA and is also confirmed safe by WHO. This factor is likely to positively influence soy-based surfactant market growth. It is widely used for applications in food industry with content ranging from 0.1% to 0.2%, and added to food products to enhance shelf life and quality. For example, lecithin is added in chocolates to reduce viscosity whereas it enhances the freshness & volume in baked goods. It is also used in food supplement applications for improving memory and cardiovascular health.
Soy proteins market offers three major forms which depend upon protein content namely flours, protein concentrates and protein isolates. Protein concentrates are the most refined with purity of approximately 90%. They are widely used as nutritional & functional ingredients in food applications. Their presence also enhances the color, texture and flavor of food products. For example, in baked products, they are used for emulsification of fats & other ingredients which improves the shelf life. Soy protein isolates market finds uses in emulsified products such as liquid whipped toppings and coffee whiteners. They are also used as binders and emulsifiers in processed meat applications. These aforementioned factors are likely to drive soy based surfactants market.
Growth in soybean oil production coupled with decline in dietary applications owing to health concerns is likely to accelerate its use for non-food applications such as surfactants, lubricants, plasticizers, bio fuels and printing inks. It is used as fermentation substrate or raw material for sorphorolipids, rhamnolipids and mannosylerythritol lipids.
Soy-based surfactants market also has potential opportunities in medical applications for solid lipid nanoparticles with size ranging from 80-350mm used for an anticancer drug delivery, Dox (doxorubicin hydrochloride).
A number of products are available in the market for applications such as household detergents, agricultural chemicals, personal care, oilfield chemicals, textiles and food processing. United Soybean Board (USB) is expected to sponsor research in this area.
Biobased products under the brand name Sophoron and Ecos are used for household detergents applications. Compare, Liberate, Agnique are used for agricultural applications. Chemonic is used for personal care applications. Arquad and Actrosol OY-67 are used for oilfield chemicals & textile applications respectively. Actrosol OY-75 and Yelkin, Ultrayech & Beakin lecithin are used for paints & coatings and food processing applications.
The global soy-based surfactants market share is consolidated and is characterized by the technological advancements to develop cost effective product. Key companies operating in this market include Saraya Co. Ltd, Loveland Products, Noveon and Illionois. Other prominent manufacturers include Sinerga Cosmetic Company, Cognic GmbH, Akzo Nobel, Koch Industries, Georgia Pacific Corp and ADM.