The antifreeze proteins market stood at USD 1.9 million in 2017; it is projected to grow at a CAGR of 30.0% from 2018, to reach USD 10.0 million by 2023. The market is driven by the benefits associated with antifreeze protein in medical applications such as cryosurgery, organ transplant, and vaccinations, advancements in technology to enhance extraction of antifreeze proteins from fish in cooler climates, and use of antifreeze proteins as ingredients in cosmetics and food products such as ice creams.
Antifreeze proteins are found in a wide range of organisms, including bacteria, fungi, plants, invertebrates, and fish. Multiple forms of antifreeze proteins are synthesized within each organism. Therefore, it is possible to select a single protein with appropriate characteristics and a suitable level of activity for a specific food product. Antifreeze proteins improve the quality of frozen food products such as ice creams that are consumed in the frozen state by inhibiting recrystallization and maintaining a smooth texture.
Opportunities:Increasing Investment in R&D and Innovations to Strengthen Demand
There is a continuous need for innovation among manufacturers in the antifreeze proteins value chain to gain a competitive edge. Companies have increased their investment in research & development to modify the formulation of existing products and meet the changing customer requirements, particularly in the cosmetics and vaccination industries. In 2008, Kaneka Corp. (Japan) collaborated in an R&D joint venture with Kansai University (Japan) for promoting open innovation in anti-freeze proteins mass-produced from radish sprouts.
Demand for custom-made solutions to suit new applications drives manufacturers to invest more in R&D innovation, which serves as an opportunity for the global market.
Exposure to low temperatures stimulates synthesis of antifreeze proteins in large amounts. Hence, though present even in cool waters of moderate climatic zones, the amount of antifreeze proteins generated in fish here is lower than fish in cooler climates.
R&D in TU/e University (Netherlands) for extraction of antifreeze proteins from polar fish such as Antarctic fish, snow scorpionflies, and other cold climate fishes has revealed significant differences in the types of protein extracted. The study by TU/e indicates the difficulties in determining how “active” a protein is – an important consideration in its suitability for commercial applications.
Key participants in the global market are manufacturers, antifreeze protein manufacturers, distributors & suppliers, associations & industry bodies, and end users. Unilever (Netherlands), Kaneka Corp. (Japan), Sirona Biochem (Canada), Aqua Bounty Technologies (US), and ProtoKinetix (US) are the leading players in the global market.