Mannosylerythritol lipids (MEL) are surface active compounds that fit into the glycolipid class of biosurfactants. These are used extensively in commercial and industrial applications. Mannosylerythritol lipids have gained momentum due to their structural diversity and self-assembling properties. They are shaped by pseudozyma species as a chief component, while the ustilago species produces them as a minor element. Mannosylerythritol lipids can substitute their synthetic counterparts since they are derived from renewable feedstock and have improved efficiency and quality. Additionally, they have greater dispersing, emulsifying, and frothing properties and are highly effective in extreme salinity, a range of ph, and varied temperatures.
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The global mannosylerythritol lipids market has developed steadily, with North America and Europe being the largest markets. Mannosylerythritol lipids offer superior biodegradability and reduced toxicity. These are also available at low costs. However, competitiveness remains a major factor for the production of mannosylerythritol lipids. Optimized cultivation conditions and novel innovative techniques have allowed companies to yield mannosylerythritol lipids on a profitable scale and reap advantages of green biosurfactant technology.
Applications of mannosylerythritol lipids include oilfield chemicals, personal care, food processing, household detergents, industrial, agricultural chemicals, institutional cleaners, and textiles. Household detergents is the major application area of mannosylerythritol lipids. New application areas are being discovered constantly. Rising concern about the use of synthetic surfactants in detergents is anticipated to boost the demand for mannosylerythritol lipids, particularly due to their low toxicity. These lipids are also employed in the pharmaceutical industry. Their flexible biochemical functions include anti-tumor activity against human leukemia cells and mouse melanoma cells. Furthermore, they can be utilized in the treatment of schizophrenia, dopamine metabolic dysfunction diseases, and microbial infections. Mannosylerythritol lipids are also employed in the preparation of anti-agglomeration agents of ice-water slurry and lectins such as Immunoglobulin G.
Increasing demand for environment-friendly products and favorable regulatory outlook in developed economies are some of the key factors driving the mannosylerythritol lipids market. Many synthetic surfactants pose risks to the environment owing to the harmful chemical compounds they contain and their incomplete degradation in soil and water. Synthetic surfactants are reported to cause long-term adverse effects. On the other hand, bio-based products degrade easily and do not harm the environment. Consumer preference for bio-based products is rising, especially in emerging economies of Asia Pacific. This is propelling the mannosylerythritol lipids industry. However, high price of mannosylerythritol lipids compared to their plant-derived and synthetic counterparts could hamper market growth. Application of mannosylerythritol lipids in bioremediation and enhanced oil recovery provide significant opportunities for the growth of the market in the next few years.
North America and Europe are anticipated to dominate the global mannosylerythritol lipids market in the near future. Europe is likely to account for the major share of the overall market during the forecast period. Increasing awareness, stringent government regulations, and rising demand for bio-based products are some of the key factors for the high penetration of mannosylerythritol lipids. The market in Asia Pacific is expected to witness considerable growth due to increasing awareness regarding bio-based products. Countries such as China and India have well-established agriculture, textiles, personal care, and pharmaceutical industries. This is likely to augment the demand for mannosylerythritol lipids during the next few years. Latin America and Middle East & Africa hold smaller market share due to higher production cost and lower consumer awareness.
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Key players operating in the mannosylerythritol lipids market include Kanebo Cosmetics Inc., Agae Technologies, LLC, Jeneil Biotech Inc., Soliance, Saraya Co. Ltd., and Ecover.