Commercial Amino Acids

Published - Aug 2000| Analyst - Dirk Muyskens| Code - BIO007F
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Report Highlights

  • Twenty amino acids go into making up the commercial amino acid market. This group plays many roles in a variety of fields including foods, animal feeds, cosmetics, medicines, and biotechnology as well as some industrial applications. In dollar terms, the most important current uses are in the animal feed industries and human food uses.
  • The three primary categories of commercial amino acids in the U.S. represented a billion-dollar market for the first time in 1999. The U.S. amino acid market should again surpass the billion-dollar mark in 2000 as factories across the nation and around the world increase production and sales to meet a growing demand. The U.S. amino acid market will likely surpass $1.5 billion by 2005.
  • With anticipated 2000 U.S. annual sales exceeding $800 million, the animal feed supplements market represents the largest market category for amino acids. Export sales of amino acid animal feed supplements will exceed $250 million.



This technical/marketing report updates a previous BCC, Inc. study on commercial essential amino acids. Further, the study examines the current state of the commercial essential amino acid , and presents an in-depth analysis that forecasts and tracks significant changes in the marketplace and identifies those amino acids with current or potentially greater commercial significance.


Commercial interest in amino acids is an outgrowth of an understanding of the many functions that these life-giving substances perform in humans and animals. As understanding of the functions and properties of amino acids increases, new commercial applications enter development, while current commercial uses continue to expand their markets on a worldwide basis.

New production technology continues to make large-scale production of these products more economical. In turn, increased availability creates newer and larger markets for these vital substances.

Amino acids gained commercial significance shortly after the turn of the century with the discovery of the flavor-enhancing quality of glutamic acid and the marketing of monosodium glutamate in Japan. Increased knowledge of the role amino acids play in the value of nutritional protein led to their being used to fortify animal feeds, as food supplements for humans, and to sustain seriously ill patients who had to be fed with intravenous solutions.


This technical/market reports outlines the properties of the 20 commercial essential amino acids that are delineated in the genetic code, the current and future uses, technology, and their manufacturers. This report focuses on three commercial amino acid markets: animal feed supplements, flavoring and nutritional additives for human food, and specialty uses including medical, therapeutic, research, and industrial applications.

Feed and food applications offer steady growth opportunities to their manufacturers and their use will continue to grow both as a result of population increases and an overall increase in the worldwide standard of living.


Much of the information in this technical/marketing report has been gathered through telephone conversations with key industry figures, as well as conversations with some of the academic experts in amino acid research. The balance of the information comes from available trade, technical, and government publications as well as an on-line data search of databases that cover all existing literature, and an evaluation of patents and company/research activities including foreign work with future applicability in the U.S.

All value of shipments and value of manufacturers' sales refer to specific markets in the U.S. International perceptions are given where appropriate. Volume and value figures are expressed in millions of pounds (lb/MM) and millions of dollars ($/MM) unless otherwise indicated. To make projections for the 2001 time period, the report relies on information regarding forces affecting specific markets, expected product introductions, and anticipated pricing.

Where precise information was not forthcoming in some cases, a consensus was made using a formulation of reasonable assumptions and estimates based on historical data. Projections are for the 2000-2005 time period.


This comprehensive study provides facts, data, and insights to senior market and planning executives and venture capitalists. It will assist manufacturers of products in any of the applicable markets, as well as technical personnel involved in research and development of production technology for commercial amino acids.

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