Oxford, England: The whey proteins market is expected to expand at an impressive 10 per cent per year over the next six years on the back of booming sales of energy products according to a new report from market analysts Frost & Sullivan.

According to The European Protein Ingredients Market, the good digestibility, nutritional value and high energy qualities of whey proteins have attracted the attention of increasing numbers of manufacturers.

The increasing use of whey proteins in nutraceutical products could compensate for a decline in the value of the European caseinates market over the next five years. "With the average price of caseinates being six times higher than that of soya proteins, they are losing market share in applications where quality is not a top priority," claims Frost & Sullivan analyst Anna Ibbotson, "EU subsidies to caseinate producers are getting lower every year, resulting in increased prices to compensate for high production costs. The rise in demand for ready meals and the emergence of markets such as sports nutrition and dietary supplements are predicted to boost the demand for cheap sources of proteins like soya."

Meanwhile, the report predicts that the total value of the European product ingredients market will grow by almost a third over the next six years, form its current annual value of $6.57 billion to over $9 billion by 2007. However, this growth will come on the back of continuing changes in a "totally transformed" market, warns Ibbotson: "Food manufactures have substituted animal protein alternatives wherever possible in order to attract a consumer cautious of animal product consumption. At the same time, food manufactures are demanding products with increased functionality, in an effort to reduce manufacturing costs and with nutraceutical properties to support marketing activities."

The European Protein Ingredients Market contains detailed analyses of the fish, gelatine, soya and single cell protein markets and is available from: Frost & Sullivan, 4100 Chancellor Court, Oxford Business Park, Oxford OX4 2GX, England. Email: bill.stringer@fs-europe.com