Human Milk Oligosaccharides Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2017 – 2027

Infant formula ingredients such as human milk oligosaccharides have been gaining popularity in the recent past as an infant formula ingredient to cater to the demands of the baby nutrition segment. Health benefits associated with the consumption of human milk oligosaccharides include maintaining gut microbiota and inhibition of pathogen in infants. These are factors likely to drive the growth of the global human milk oligosaccharides market. Human milk oligosaccharides are gaining traction due to the potential benefits by consumption such as a prebiotic to maintain a healthy immune system in infants. It also aids in blocking adhesion of microbial pathogens and foreign particles to epithelial surfaces, thus improving gut colonisation.

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Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) is a better alternative for non-lactating mothers as it has all the nutrients required by infants for normal growth. Manufacturers are producing HMOs by various chemical synthesis and fermentation processes in order to cater to the demand for infant formula ingredients. According to the WHO, the total world population is estimated to increase by approximately one billion in the next 10 years and reach 9.5 billion by 2050. The constantly growing population is likely to increase demand for infant nutrition products. The demand for infant formula is significantly high in China as well as in certain countries in the Asia Pacific owing to a high infant population.

High prices owing to costly chemical synthesis and the presence of substitutes with the same potential and functional benefits are hampering the growth of the global human milk oligosaccharides market

Human milk oligosaccharides are the third largest component of human milk, but cannot be synthesised directly through human milk due to low availability of a donor group. Currently, manufacturers are developing technologies to produce human milk oligosaccharides through chemical and enzymatic synthesis. These synthetic and enzymatic methods require high capital and resources, but the final product produced is in relatively low quantity. For instance, enzymatic synthesis is required for costly substrates such as glycosyltransferases and this is one of the major factors attributed to the high price of human milk oligosaccharides.

Infant formula ingredients such as galactooligosaccharides and fructooligosaccharides are used as prebiotics in infant formula to reduce the growth of pathogenic Escherichiacoli. Consumption of these offers health benefits for the gastrointestinal tract of infants by stimulating the growth of selected micro-organisms in intestinal microflora. Manufacturers of infant formula are using these as substitutes to human milk oligosaccharides due to the low cost and high availability. Hence, these alternatives to human milk oligosaccharides with the same functional benefits is restricting the growth of the overall market to a large extent.

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Fucosyllactose segment is the largest segment with close to 50% market share in the global human milk oligosaccharides market

Among the various product type segments, the fucosyllactose segment is estimated to account for a market share of almost 48% in terms of value, followed by the sialyllactose segment with a value share of around 28% by 2017 end. The fucosyllactose product type segment is estimated to be valued at more than US$ 9 Mn by the end of 2017 and is projected to increase at a CAGR of 14.4% over the period of assessment. On the other hand, the sialyllactose segment is estimated to be valued at more than US$ 5 Mn by the end of 2017 and is anticipated to increase at a CAGR of 15.1% over the forecast period and be valued at more than US$ 20 Mn by the end of 2027.”

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