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The U.S amino acids market reached $1.5 billion in 2012. This market is expected to grow to nearly $1.6 billion in 2013 and nearly $2 billion in 2018, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5% from 2013 to 2018.
The animal feeds segment is expected to grow $792 million in 2013 and $1.1 billion 2018, with a CAGR of 5.9%.
The flavorants segment is expected to grow to $594 million in 2013 and $692 million in 2018, with a CAGR of 3.1%.
Amino acids play many roles in a variety of commercial fields, including foods, animal feeds, cosmetics, medicines, and biotechnology as well as some industrial applications. New production technologies continue to make large-scale production of these critical products more economical. Twenty amino acids make up the commercial amino acid market.
In dollar terms, the most important current applications are animal feed and human food. Amino acids are such an important component in the feeding of livestock, especially poultry, that, to achieve maximum growth for minimum costs, the use of amino acids such as methionine and lysine will continue to grow even if feed crop prices fall. Since both methionine and lysine can be synthetically produced, their cost is no longer tied to feed crop costs.
A steadily improving economy and an increasing population will drive growth in this market for the foreseeable future.
The greatest increase in the use of amino acids will not be for a single acid alone, but in combination with other amino acids. These combinations hold great promise in fighting a wide variety of diseases affecting every major system in the body, including HIV and many forms of cancer. Although sold as stand-alone health supplements in many nutrition stores, combinations are reputed to have additional benefits achieved through proper balancing. Much research is focused on the benefits and effects of amino acid balancing as well as the peptides, enzymes and hormones their combinations produce.
Commercial interest in amino acids is an outgrowth of an understanding of the many functions that these life-giving substances perform in humans and animals. As understanding of the functions and properties of amino acids increases, new commercial applications enter development, while current commercial uses continue to expand their worldwide markets. New production technology continues to make large-scale production of these products more economical. In turn, increased availability creates newer and larger markets for these vital substances.
Amino acids gained commercial significance shortly after the turn of the century with the discovery of the flavor-enhancing quality of glutamic acid and the marketing of monosodium glutamate in Japan. Increased knowledge of the role amino acids play in the value of nutritional protein led to their being used to fortify animal feeds, as food supplements for humans and to sustain seriously ill patients who had to be fed with intravenous solutions.
Since the 20 protein amino acids can be arranged in any order to make any number of polypeptides, their potential for a variety of inventions in the field of medicine is extraordinary. Their current uses in animal feed and food additives will continue to grow as there are no substitutes for amino acids and their value has been well proven.
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