Consumer preference for natural food colors widens growth opportunities for curcumin in food and beverage applications, finds Frost & Sullivan’s Visionary Science team

31 July 2018

The increasing awareness of the value of curcumin in the formulation of, nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, herbals, cosmetics, functional foods and beverages, and other applications is creating a plethora of opportunities for extract and ingredient manufacturers. There is particular focus on curcumin R&D, as manufacturers are looking to differentiate themselves by offering novel curcumin ingredients using technologies that standardize its concentration to 95 percent and increase its bioavailability. Furthermore, investors are showing greater interest in the product due to large volumes of existing clinical data detailing the structure-function relationships of the active curcuminoids. There also have been many human clinical trials to establish its efficacy and safety in specific applications, such as prevention and supportive treatment of digestive disorders, arthritis, cancers and cardiovascular diseases.

“Curcumin R&D is mainly aimed at obtaining extracts with higher solubility, bio-absorption, bioavailability and other value-added properties that widen its application scope,” said Frost & Sullivan Visionary SciencePrincipal Analyst Raghu Tantry. “Manufacturers have already succeeded in increasing its absorption in the gastrointestinal tracts post oral intake by humans. Its demonstrated utility in disease prevention and pain relief in inflammatory disorders such as rheumatism and osteoarthritis, as well as its anti-cancer properties, greatly enhance its profile and draw investments.”

Turmeric, the raw material source of curcumin, is a widely used ingredient in traditional food and medicinal recipes in the Indian sub-continent and Southeast Asia. However, consumers are still unaware of all the differences between turmeric and curcumin in terms of content and therapeutic or health benefits. Due to this, ingredient suppliers struggle to position their products optimally. They need to invest in educating customers across the value chain by employing trained technical support and customer service staff.

“The specialty natural ingredients industry is very active in developing commercially relevant curcumin extract products and conducting research that best serves formulators and consumers,” noted Tantry. “Suppliers with testing and development capabilities have a competitive edge in the market, as they are considered ideal solution providers to formulators and finished product manufacturers. Their ability to customize curcumin ingredients, aid in trial and pilot batch preparation, and smoothly escalate to commercial batch manufacture and global distribution will earn them significant partnership opportunities in diverse application areas.”

Source: Frost & Sullivan

Illustration Photo: Turmeric Buds (credits: Dinuraj K / Flickr Creative Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))

Illustration Photo: Turmeric powder (Public Domain from


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