Nutritional ingredients in animal feed are essential to meet the dietary needs of animals. Researches study the nutritional requirements of animals and formulate the ingredients that must be added to the animal feed in order to manage and control the diet of animals. The nutritional ingredients in animal feed market is primarily driven by the need for greater animal productivity. Since animals are a source of food and an important segment of the food chain, it is necessary to balance their diet in order to secure their health and livelihood. Demand from global food industry is expected to be a key driver for the market’s growth. However, lack of awareness and cost of the feed may force farmers towards the use of cheaper alternatives. This could be a major restraint for the market’s growth. Product variations with the help of research and development could provide immense growth opportunity for the market.
The market for nutritional ingredients in animal feed can be segmented on the basis of type of nutrient, type of ingredient, type of animal and geography. The basic types of nutrients used in animal diets include protein, vitamins, minerals such as calcium and phosphorous, energy and water. In order to provide the above nutrients the animal feed may include natural ingredients such as corn (energy), wheat (carbohydrates and proteins), soyabean meal (protein), fish (protein), oats (fiber), alfalfa (vitamins) and others. Some chemical ingredients are also added to animal feed in order to meet specific requirements. These include buffers and neutralizers (sodium or potassium bicarbonate, calcium or magnesium carbonate and others), antioxidants (BHT, BHA, ethoxyquin, Vitamin E, etc.), chemical preservatives (citric acid, ascorbic acid, sodium propionate and others) and pellet binding agents (molasses, bentonite, ball clay, etc.). Animals can be segmented as ruminants and non ruminants based on the way they digest food. Ruminant animals such as cattle and sheep should be fed a diet that contains forage or roughage while non ruminant animals such as chickens and pigs must be fed rations of energy and protein. Geographical segmentation includes regions such as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World.
North America and Europe have established markets for addition of nutritional ingredients in animal feed due to greater consumer awareness, norms and regulations and sophisticated raising technologies. Asia Pacific is expected to be the largest market over the coming years due to an abundant animal base. With increasing exports of animal products from China and India the pressure for achieving greater animal productivity is driving the need for nutritional ingredients in animal feed market. Some market players include, BASF SE, Ingredion Inc., Barentz, Cargill Inc., Altech Corp., DSM N.V. and Kerry Group.
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