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The global market for food preservatives is projected to reach $2.7 billion in value by 2018, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets. The key growth drivers are rising demand for natural foods and safety issues where processed products are concerned.

MarketsandMarkets estimates that North America was the dominant market for food preservatives in 2012 and the Asia-Pacific region ranked in second place. However, the latter is expected to deliver the strongest growth during the forecast period.

In addition to geographical segmentation, the report also provides a detailed picture by type (natural and chemical) and function (antimicrobial and antioxidant). MarketsandMarkets has also conducted an analysis by application, covering oil and fat, bakery, dairy, snack, meat, poultry and seafood, confectionery and beverage.

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As the report notes, populations in developing countries are consuming more and more processed food products. Freshness and quality deteriorate during storage, which makes it necessary to use preservatives to prevent different chemical and physical changes from occurring in the food products. The end result is greater demand for preservatives.

The global food supply chain is profoundly affected by the rise in population, the report goes on to add. Food safety and quality have become burning issues, prompting government and industry players to constantly strive for higher standards of food preservatives. Thanks to technological advances, the industry has been able to develop preservatives that ensure the ample supply of affordable and appetizing foods, MarketsandMarkets states.