(Food-Beverage-News.Com, January 18, 2023 ) According to a research report "Edible Inkjet Ink Market by Type (Edible Ink Cartridges, Bottled Edible Ink), Material (Natural, Synthetic), Color (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black), Application (Bakery, Tablets & Capsules), End Use and Region - Global Forecast 2027" published by MarketsandMarkets, the global edible inkjet ink market is projected to reach from 26 million in 2022 to USD 33 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2022 to 2027. The edible inkjet ink market is growing at a stable pace with various acquisitions and partnerships among the industry participants. In January 2022, Union Chemicar expanded its production facilities of inkjet, thermal inkjet and edible inks, and stationery items such as correction and glue tapes from Japan to different international locations. This expansion aims to strengthen the global presence. In June 2021, Sun Chemical strategically partnered with VPK France, a subsidiary of VPK Group, to develop sustainable ink products. This partnership aimed to switch French sites’ printing operations to Sun Chemical’s SunVisto AquaGreen renewable inks. In June 2021, the company also acquired BASF’S global pigments business, to expand its product offerings such as cosmetics, coatings, inks, plastics, and specialty applications and to better serve customers globally. With acquisitions and partnerships, the companies are trying to increase their market share and maintain their leadership positions.
The bakery industry is witnessing steady growth globally and, more specifically, in developing countries. Bakery products are gaining traction owing to their increasing nutrient value and affordability. Moreover, in developing countries, the increasing female working population, the growing influence of foreign trends, and changing consumer eating habits drive the demand for bakery goods. The COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in the rising consumption of bakery products, primarily the products with healthy ingredients, products with unique flavors, and diet-friendly products. Rising consumer income, increasing expansion, and the presence of bakery retail outlets such as supermarkets and hypermarkets accelerate the retail performance of bakeries in countries such as India, China, and Japan. Developing countries are also witnessing growth in the number of home bakers willing to spend a premium amount on buying supplies for bakery. Amidst the pandemic, the small-scale business of homemade cakes and cookies witnessed fast growth. These small entrepreneurs are focused towards providing customized and personalized solutions such as printed photos and graphics on cakes, coffee, cookies, etc. to meet the growing consumer demand. The growth of the bakery industry drives the demand for edible inkjet ink.
Rheology of edible inks
The performance of rheology is the prominent factor in ink formulation. It also provides a pre-evaluation on ink printing capacity, thereby, acting as a bridge between practical printing and edible inks. The rheological properties of edible inks include viscosity, shear thinning characteristics, and pseudoplastic properties. These properties are prominently related to features of the ink such as molecular weight, concentration, temperature, inter- and intra-molecular interactions and pH which play an active role in the smoothness of printing process. Other factor such as modulus can aid in illustrating the viscoelastic properties such as liquid and solid properties of edible ink and indicate the structure strength of the ink resistance and process of the chemical reaction. This is beneficial in the determining the ink structure, status and critical points required for efficient printing.
Furthermore, the compliance, yield stress and thixotropy can aid in understanding the transition status transition, orientation of bonds and recovery structure of edible inks for increased structure maintenance and retention of shape after printing. Hence, understanding the rheology of edible inks can offer an in-depth understanding on structural characteristics of edible inks to gain increased structural fidelity and printing capacity in food printing. With growing consumer, it is important to enhance the practical mass food printing application with high consumer acceptance. Rheology aids in increasing the development speed due to its ease in pre evaluating the printability of edible inks for researchers and develop the maximum print effect and use in the industry applications.
Risk of contamination with non-food-grade ink migration
Food items may get contaminated by ink migration when harmful non-food-grade ink is used on food packaging instead of edible inkjet ink. This is a significant concern, especially in food products like tablets, capsules, and baby foods. Ink migration occurs when ink components from the packing material infiltrate food. In addition to contaminating food, ink migration can alter the taste and odor of food, pose harmful effects on customer health, and compromise the reputation of the company. According to the WHO, contaminated food causes an estimated 600 million illnesses and 420,000 deaths worldwide each year, costing 33 million years of healthy life. Furthermore, an upsurge in norovirus cases was observed in Slovenia in December 2021 due to possible contaminated packaging. Non-food-grade ink migration may thus act as a challenge in the growth of the edible inkjet ink market.
North America held the largest market share in edible inkjet ink market
North America is the one of the key contributors when it comes to development and application of new technologies. The well-developed manufacturing industry, availability of advanced machinery, qualified technicians, and innovative ideas among others are some of the key factors contributing to the development of technologies for edible inkjet ink printing. Countries such as US and Canada contribute majorly to the growth of markets in North America. The proliferating bakery and confectionery industry in the US supports the growth of customized products. Personalized gifting trend of printed cakes and cookies accelerates the growth of edible inks required for printing. There is a wide scope for the edible inkjet ink market to grow in the US. Direct on-food printing is a recent marketing strategy applied by start-ups and established companies both to improve the sales of convenient foods by customizing conventionally processed food products and making them more appealing to consumers.
Key players in this market include Sun Chemical Corporation (US), Toyochem Co., Ltd. (Japan), Linx Printing Technologies (UK), Union Chemicar Co., ltd. (Japan), The Cake Decorating Co. (UK), MagicFrost (US), Icing Images (US), Icinginks (US), Edible Supply (US), and Edible Image Supplies (Australia), among others.
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