The name Oxygen Scavenger refers to the material containing one or more reactive compounds, which can reduce the amount of Oxygen in enclosed packaging, which generally surrounds perishable items like food and beverages as well as in fluids. Commonly known as Oxygen Absorber, the function of Oxygen scavenging is manifold; including acting as an antioxidant, interceptor and controller.
Introduction and Objective of Oxygen Scavengers
It was initially introduced by the US military for Meals Ready-to-eat (MREs) rations and preserves the quality of foods like bread, wheat snacks, fudge brownies, pretzels, waffles, hamburger buns. Nowadays, this product finds a lot of applications in an array of functions.
The food and beverage industry of the modern world is gaining a lot of leverage through packaged foods. One of the primary and significant reasons is that it can be consumed after prolonged hours. And can also be transported over vast distances without the food getting spoiled or undergoing degeneration.
It is a proven fact that the low levels of Oxygen maintained inside the packaging prevent enzymatic and microbial actions, which are enough to degrade the quality of the food and render it unsafe for consumption. A hermetically-sealed high gas barrier structure prevents the external atmosphere from interfering with the contents inside the packaged structure.
The Primary Applications of Oxygen Scavengers in the Market are Enumerated Below:
Food, Beverage, and Pharmaceutical Industry:
Oxygen Scavengers are massively crucial for the food and drink as well as the pharmaceutical industry. This scenario is because Oxygen catalyzes a range of deteriorative reactions –
- Lipid oxidation resulting in undesirable products
- Nutritional loss of food
- Changes in the flavor as well as the aroma of the packed foods
- Alteration of the texture of the foods from their regular texture
- Spoilage through enzymatic and microbial action
Oxygen Scavengers are deemed extremely crucial in preventing the rancidity of foods and maintaining product safety. And they improve the shelf life of perishable items, thereby enhancing the customer acceptability.
In the case of pharma products, they are highly sensitive to temperature, humidity, and exposure to different atmospheric gases. Interference of Oxygen might render these pharmaceutical products unfit for usage, and they may often have harmful effects on the user. Oxygen might also prove to be detrimental for sterilized and highly sophisticated medical kits and appliances.
Oil, Natural Gas, and Mineral industry:
It is a well-known fact that metals undergo corrosion when exposed to moist atmosphere and Oxygen. Thus Oxygen Scavengers are extensively used as a corrosion inhibitor in installations for Oil and Natural Gas production, in Boilers as well as in the Metallurgical industry. Therefore the service lives of the metal installations and machine parts are extended.
- For the preservation of old artworks, which undergo deterioration through prolonged exposure of Oxygen
- Preservation of the solderability of electronic devices and electronic components
Properties of Excellent Oxygen Scavengers:
A good oxygen scavenger is one that reacts readily with Oxygen, passivates the steel and other metal surfaces, possesses volatility, and adds no amount of solids, carbon dioxide, or organic acids in the packaged food, beverages, or the water to be treated in boilers.
Chemicals Used as Oxygen Scavengers:
The application of Oxygen Scavengers is massive and bifurcated according to the industry. So, it is usable in the items or chemicals used for multiple Oxygen inhibiting functions.
- Most of the commercially available Oxygen Scavenging systems employ Iron Powder or enzymes like Glucose Oxidase, which reacts to absorb most of the possible Oxygen, present in the packaging and thus impediments the deterioration of packaged foods.
- Active Barriers are the ingenious packaging methods that display Oxygen Scavenging function by interacting with outside Oxygen through the walls of the container. Often, these packages might contain liquid Nitrogen in negligible amounts to render the packaged environment inert.
- Antioxidants and antimicrobial agents like Silver or Zinc Oxide nanoparticles, Cellulose nanocomposites, essential oils like Tocopherol, Nisin Bacteriocin, and Vanillin prevent the sanctity of beverages and packaged liquids like fruit juice and are also biodegradable.
- Sulphites and Bisulphites of heavy metals and other positive ions have a spectrum of Oxygen Scavenging action. They combine with any amount of residual Oxygen present in the packaging and get converted to Sulphates. In this regard, Ammonium Bisulphite is an extremely versatile chemical which is usable in significant proportions as an Oxygen Scavenger.
Current Scenario of the Oxygen Scavengers Market
Oxygen Scavenger Market Analysis shows that a global market is highly fragmented. The market share is divided amongst several companies with BASF SE, MITSUBISHI GAS CHEMICAL COMPANY, Shanti Inorgochem, ECOLAB, CLARIANT, and ARKEMA being the major players. Consolidating strategies should include Mergers and acquisitions, Joint Ventures, and Collaborations by the big players to reinforce this rapidly expanding market.
Market Trends and Future Scope of the Oxygen Scavenger Market
The applications of Oxygen Scavengers in end-user industries like food and beverage, Pharmaceuticals, Power, Oil and Natural Gas, Chemical, Pulp, and paper industry is increasing day by day.
Data analytics by experts show that the Oxygen Scavenger Market will grow by leaps and bounds and exhibit a Combined Annual Growth Rate of around 4%. The key market trends that are responsible for this growth are shown below.
- The food and beverage industry has accounted for a considerable portion of the market. Since Oxygen Scavengers are essential to prevent degradation of packaged foods and increase their shelf life, their demand is also encountering a high.
- Though the US was accountable for the majority of the Oxygen Scavengers market lately, the growing popularity of processed, ready-to-eat packaged foods in developing and populous nations of India and China is consequential for the growth of the Oxygen Scavengers market globally.
- The Asia-Pacific region is exhibiting a tremendous demand for Oxygen Scavengers. China is a leading producer and exporter of chemicals worldwide, is showing a continuous demand for Oxygen Scavengers for various core operations of the mentioned industry. The Chinese food and beverage industry is also registering sustained economic growth, and hence the need for Oxygen Scavengers is increasing. On the other hand, India- the second largest food producer in the world is also one of the most prominent players with an exponentially growing demand for Oxygen Scavengers.
Check out the global market industry insights of the Oxygen Scavengers.
With downstream production increasing in India that is significantly boosting the indigenous petrochemical industry, the Oxygen Scavengers market is encountering massive demand as it is highly essential for the Oil and Natural Gas industry.
The Oxygen Scavenger business can become one of the top-grossing company applications if adequate measures are in use with the swift response to the market trends and analysis.