Diverse Applications of Corn Starch Beyond Cooking and Food and Beverages Industry to Boost its Sales

A considerable rise in sales has chalked a positive trajectory for the global corn starch market in the last few years. According to Transparency Market Research (TMR), the market has been gaining impetus from favorable year-on-year growth in the paper and textile industry. Besides this, a spurt in the consumption of convenience food across emerging economies has also proved quite lucrative for corn starch producers.

Over the years, the demand for corn start has been gradually rising. As consumers across emerging regions look for potential and cheaper alternatives to cane sugar, the future of corn starch producers seems promising. Maize plantations have a high output and are rich in starch content, which is one of the key factors fuelling demand for corn starch as a cheaper alternative for cane sugar. In contrast, the increasing availability of substitutes such as tapioca has been restraining the market’s growth. Potential health hazards associated with certain industrial uses of corn starch and the subsequent implementation of stringent laws are also limiting the scope for the market’s expansion.

Nevertheless, according to TMR, the global corn starch market is expected to reach US$22.1 bn by the end of 2016. Between 2016 and 2024, the market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 4.8%.

Q: How is the market expected to gain from the diverse applications of corn starch?

A: In recent years, the use of genetically-modified corn has significantly increased. This has, in turn, bolstered access to high-yielding crop varieties. This, combined with the rising consumption of convenience foods across emerging economies, will bode well for the corn starch market. With the sales of ready-to-mix foods projected to more than double in the near future, experts foresee favorable growth opportunities for the market. 


Furthermore, the use of corn starch in products such as instant tea, coffee, and cake mixes is expected to rise considerably. Asia Pacific, during this time, is likely to emerge as the leading consumer of paper and paper products.

Q: Which geographical segments will exhibit lucrative opportunities for corn starch producers?

A: North America presently leads the global corn starch market, in terms of both volume and value. However, the market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow at a higher pace in the forthcoming years, as the region witnesses a surge in demand from the food and beverages, paper, and textile industries. Demand for corn starch is likely to be exceptionally high in ASEAN, India, and China. Lured by lucrative opportunities, several prominent companies have invested in the region in the recent past. Besides this, MEA is also expected to present attractive prospects for corn starch producers.

Q: What new applications are producers exploring to gain competitive advantage?

A: The market is presently witnessing rising demand for modified corn starch from industries such as pharmaceuticals and food and beverages. Besides this, its use in the production of eco-friendly bags has increased as well.

The corn starch market is thus also expected to gain impetus from the rising research and development activities aimed at finding suitable alternatives to plastic bags. A case in point is the invention of compostable fabric, suitable for producing durable shopping bags, by two Czech students Tereza Dvorakova and Cue Hana Nemcova. Made using corn starch and natural dyes, these bags are called Frusack. They can be reused and are completely compostable after use.

Following suit, Dualit, a popular British manufacturer of tea and coffee capsules, has introduced compostable capsules including a protective bag, lid, and pod produced using corn starch. These 100% compostable capsules can be broken down in 90 days by providing natural heat.  Increasing research leading to product innovation will create growth opportunities for the market in the forthcoming years.

Corn start is a versatile powder and a cleaning agent. It boasts a myriad industrial uses ranging from fabric stiffener in the textile industry to natural deodorizer and moisture-absorbing powder used to prevent mildew from ruining books and documents. Such diverse applications of corn starch in the food and beverages industry and beyond have been significantly aiding the expansion of the corn starch market globally.

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