Lactoferrin Market Report

Lactoferrin Market Analysis By Function (Iron Absorption, Anti-inflammatory, Intestinal Flora Protection, Antibacterial, Immune Cell Stimulation, Antioxidant), By Application, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Published Date: Jun, 2017
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2016
  • Report ID: GVR-1-68038-871-8
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2015
  • Number of Pages: 122

Industry Insights

The global lactoferrin market demand was estimated at 255.0 tons in 2016. Growing demand for usage in infant formula and competitive strategies adopted by key industry participants is expected to propel market growth.

Lactoferrin, a compound belonging to the cytokine family act as the initiators for the cellular response against infections and tumors. The compound is capable of inhibiting and preventing the growth of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. The multifunctional glycoprotein can be extracted from the milk of the mammals. For commercial use the compound is produced by using cation exchange through cross flow membranes.

U.S. lactoferrin market revenue by function, 2014 - 2025 (Tons)

U.S. lactoferrin market

The market demand in the U.S. was valued at 57.2 tons in 2016 and is expected to grow at an anticipated CAGR of 7.9% over the forecast period. Lactoferrin products with iron absorption, and antibacterial functions are being used on a wide scale in the U.S., on account of growing occurrences of bacterial infections among the people on account of unhealthy eating habits, and sedentary lifestyle. Prevalent usage of lactoferrin based nutrition in the U.S. coupled with the availability of a broad portfolio of lactoferrin-induced products is benefitting the demand in the U.S

Companies have developed techniques for extracting the derivative from raw skimmed milk that has low saturation, endotoxin levels and possess anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, variants such as those in spray dried form have been developed to provide superior solubility. Such products also possess less light scattering effect. Such trends are expected to benefit the market demand over the next eight years.

Function Insights

Lactoferrin is known to have capabilities of iron absorption and thus binding the free radicals of iron. This factor is of the utmost importance in terms of infant nutrition, as their bodies require it to process the free iron radicals which help their bodies to function properly and grow in a systematic manner. The iron absorption and binding also helps to boost the antibacterial and antioxidant properties in infants. Infants get this nutrition from their mother’s milk. The lactoferrin concentration in new mothers’ decreases after the first 8 days of giving birth to the child. These factors are anticipated to drive the iron absorption segment over the forecast period.

The process of inflammation is required in the human body as it helps to prevent the body against infectious agents. However, the tissue is damaged which can prove to be a deathly scenario on account of the development of chronic inflammation. The compound provides the human body with adequate nutrition so as to curb the excess inflammation. This factor is expected to drive the anti-inflammatory function over the next eight years.

The transferrin derivative helps to hinder the growth of bacteria by removing any content which fosters its growth. The multifunctional protein binds to the wall of bacteria and forms peroxides. This causes the cells to break down on account of reduced membrane permeability. These factors have promoted its usage as an antibacterial in medical sector for the prevention and elimination of bacterial diseases.

The soluble compound helps to protect the digestive tract from damage caused by flora and soybean-based diet. Inflammation of the digestive tract causes distress in the intestines and disrupts the bodily functions. It helps to decontaminate this digestive tract and thus restore the bodily functions back to normal. In addition, it also has other important functions such as immune cell stimulation, and anti-oxidation. These varied functions of the transferrin derivative and its advantages is projected to propel the market growth over the forecast period.

Application Insights

The global market is growing steadily on account of the high demand for infant formula and sports & nutritional food. Infant formula emerged the largest application segment and accounted for over 39.8% of the total market volume in 2016.

Global lactoferrin market volume by application, 2016 (%)

Global lactoferrin market

Lactoferrin is used extensively in infant formula due to its iron binding, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. The compound is added to infant formula to mimic its properties of human milk. Increased urbanization, higher disposable incomes, and rise in the standard of living have catered to a demand rise for infant formula products thus benefitting the overall demand for the application.

Owing to its anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties, it is used in food & beverage applications such as yogurts, cakes, and pastries. There has been a global shift in preference towards consuming functional foods due to the health benefits offered by them. This preference change is expected to benefit the food & beverage segment growth over the next eight years.

The transferrin is widely used as sports, and functional foods by runners, athletes, and cyclists as the compound enables optimum iron absorption and efficient transportation of it within the body. This ability reduces the possibility of free iron radical damage on blood vessels. Also, the product also provides better bone turnover resulting in better bone health.

Lactoferrin stimulates the immunity system, prevents damage caused due to aging, regulates iron metabolism, and acts as antiviral agent. Due to all of these capabilities, it is used widely to make pharmaceutical products. It acts against the excess formation of free radicals thus preventing oxidative damage. Due to this property, the demand for its usage in cosmetics application is expected to grow over the forecast period.

Regional Insights

In terms of revenue, Asia Pacific dominated the global lactoferrin market in 2016 and is expected to continue its dominance over the next eight years. The market worth in the region was USD 28.2 million in 2016. The region is characterized by countries having a high birth rate thus leading to a significant rise in the infant population. This factor has resulted in a rise in demand for lactoferrin induced infant formula. Also, the compound induced food & beverage products such as yogurts are also in demand in the region. Such factors are contributing to the industry growth in the region.

The demand in Europe was 61.3 tons in 2016 and is expected to grow at an expected CAGR of 8.2% over the next eight years. There has been a recent growth in awareness regarding its usage in the region. Furthermore, regulatory agencies such as European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have cleared doubts concerning the safety of its usage in products such as dietary & food supplements, infant formula, and sports nutrition. Such factors are aiding the demand growth in the region.

Competitive Insights

The global lactoferrin industry is characterized by the presence of industry participants adopting competitive strategies to gain market share. Companies have increased spending to obtain better production process equipment such as milk dryers to produce the compound with better soluble properties. Manufacturers such as Fonterra have adopted patents for their manufacturing process, which enable them to use the milk in other product manufacturing after lactoferrin has been extracted from it.

Companies have integrated the production, packaging and containerization operations at a single location to ensure the high quality and safeguarding the bioactivity of the product. Industry participants include Fonterra Co-Operative Group Ltd., Glanbia Nutritionals, Synlait Milk Ltd., Vitalus Nutrition Inc., Metagenics, and Ingredia SA among others.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2015

Forecast period

2017 - 2025

Market representation                                                

Revenue in USD Million, Volume in Tons and CAGR from 2017 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S., UK, Germany, China, Japan

Report coverage             

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analyst working days)

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Segments covered in the report

This report forecasts volume and revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis on the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global lactoferrin market on the basis of function, application, and region:

  • Function Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; Volume Tons, 2014 - 2025)

    • Iron absorption

    •  Anti-inflammatory

    •  Intestinal flora protection

    •  Antibacterial

    •  Immune cell stimulation

    •  Antioxidant

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; Volume Tons, 2014 - 2025)

    • Food & beverages

    • Infant formula

    • Sports & functional food

    • Animal feed

    • Pharmaceuticals

    • Personal care products

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; Volume Tons, 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

    • Europe

      • UK

      • Germany

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

    • Central & South America

    • Middle East & Africa

Key questions answered by the report
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