Food Allergen Testing Market: Key Factors and Emerging Opportunities with Current Trends Analysis

The food allergen testing market, in terms of value, is projected to reach USD 760.7 million by 2022, at a CAGR of 6.8% from 2016. The market growth is driven by various factors such as stringent labeling mandates and demand for advisory labeling, growth in incidences of allergic disorders among consumers, globalization of food trade, and increase in food recall for undeclared allergen products.

The increase in concerns with regards to food allergen has been increasing with the awareness on allergic reactions. FALCPA mandated the listing of top eight food allergens on the labeling. The food industries have been stringently following various allergen management systems such as GMP and HACCP so as to avoid the cross contamination of food materials in processing, including equipment involved. The concern for food allergies, changing regulations, increased international trade between developing nations such as China, Japan, and Latin American countries to developed nations is driving the food allergen testing market in these regions. The food allergen testing market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% from 2016 to 2022.

PCR- and immunoassay-based are the fastest growing technologies in the food allergen testing market. Other technologies include LC-MC/MS, test kits and other chromatographic technologies. LC-MS/MS can detect contaminants at concentrations in the low-level parts per million (ppm) range and PCR-based can detect and quantify multiple allergens simultaneously in a short time.

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Most common and economic immunoassay-based tests have been dominating the food allergen testing market. EU directives have been imposing legislative pressures on food safety issues that drive the food allergen testing market, which are followed by most countries to export food products to the EU countries.

On the basis of food tested, processed food was the largest and fastest growing segment in the food allergen testing market in 2015. Bakery & confectionary is the next fastest growing market from 2016 to 2022, followed by infant food. On the basis of source, the peanuts & soy segment is projected to be the largest and fastest growing through 2022. This is due to the wider applications and presence of peanuts & soy in various products. Seafood is projected to be second largest market in food allergen testing during 2016–2022 followed by wheat.

The North American market for food allergen testing is projected to grow at the highest rate. Growth in this region is driven by various rules & regulations implemented by the FDA & different importing countries. Food security standards are becoming gradually stringent to ensure safer supply of food to individuals. Governments in different countries have implemented various regulations for consumers, producers, and regulators. Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has adopted food allergen programs by the CFIA’s Agri-food Division to maintain food safety. The idea behind this program was to cover products that are marketed by export, import, and interprovincial trade.

The CFIA has adopted and expanded on the U.S. regulation list, including food allergen labeling regulations. In January 2016, Intertek acquired the Italian company Food International Trust (FIT-Italia), which provided a wide range of assurance, testing, and certification services. It was the first Italian company to receive the ISI accreditation as an inspection body for the food sector and the first company in Italy to be accredited to deliver the International Food Standard (IFS) Food Store program. The expansion would help Intertek to serve the food allergen & food safety certification market in neighboring region. In 2014, ALS Limited acquired Kingmoor Technical Services Limited (England). The acquisition would help in expanding food and pharmaceutical testing in the U.K. It would provide a wider range of testing services–including nutritional, vitamins and additives, pesticides, and allergen testing and a platform to expand geographically into Scotland and England.

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New service/product launches, expansions & investments, acquisitions, agreements, collaborations, partnerships, and new technology launches are the key strategies adopted by the players to ensure their growth in the market. Companies such as SGS (Switzerland), Intertek (UK), TÜV SÜD (Germany), Eurofins E (Luxembourg), and ALS Limited (Australia) have acquired leading market positions through their broad service portfolios that are specific to various allergen segments. The companies are also focused on innovations and geographical diversification. In December 2015, SGS entered into a partnership with Biopremier (Portugal), a specialist in molecular biology and DNA sequencing. This partnership delivered new-generation sequencing (NGS) to the food supply chain, which helped in verifying food authenticity by reducing food frauds.