As the world population grows the demand for food and feed ingredients, detergents and cosmetics is also rising, which causes organic acids like citric acid, monosodium glutamate or lysine to ride a boom. Until the beginning of the 20th century, citric acid was produced via crystallization of citrus fruit juice, which gave the product its name. Nowadays, citric acid as a commodity chemical is produced via fermentation of sugars.
Several feedstocks can serve as fermentation substrates and their use depends on the local availability. Maize starch is mainly used in the US and China, while sugarcane molasses dominates in the Brazilian and Indian market. European producers rely mainly on sugarbeet molasses. Second generation feedstocks have not found their way into citric acid production thus far, although there are projects to establish cellulosic feedstocks in the citric acid industry.
Keywords: export, imports, food ingredients, consumption, citric acid plants
Source: Renewable Chemicals, 2011-11-06.