Consumables have existed for as long as humankind. They have been one of the earliest subjects for regulations. The food safety testing market has thus constantly evolved. The primitive laws governing the sector only addressed general concerns like adulteration. But with the emergence of global food trade, this market has widened its horizons.
Drivers of the food safety management market
Safety testing firms are the ones condemned for illnesses that are caused from eatables. When the quality of food items is compromised, not only is the consumer’s physical well being at risk, but the complete Agriculture and Food Market is rendered economically vulnerable. There is thus an increase in the need for checks. Foodservice advances that lead to this are:
The contemporary population has varied demands from the food items that they buy. While some look for healthier items in their diet, the others look for aesthetics. The gene-based technology of genetic modification makes this customization possible. But it also raises a number of public concerns like allergies and toxicities. Safety tests of commercial GM products are hence crucial to understand the potential health hazards from the consumption of these products. These tests are highly specific since they work at a molecular level.
Import and export of foods
The globalization of food trade makes it necessary for the produce to meet the border regulations of both, the country of origin and the destination. A number of food control systems have thus been established to comply with cross-border consumer expectations and safety aspects.
The use of animal and plant-derived content
Ingredient authenticity in every food item produced needs to be checked. Some components of food are not acceptable to certain ethnic groups. They can only trust the packaging labels. The ingredients of the eatables are hence checked using various technologies before labeling them as negative or positive for a particular substance.
A rise in the demand for convenience and packaged foods has led to increase in mass production. Mass production further facilitates a quick spread of food contaminants. These contaminants can be in the form of pathogens, chemicals, or sharps that can cause injury. The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system has thus been introduced to industries as a preventive measure. This allows verification of the production process with regards to the various safety aspects.
The competitive landscape
Global Market Research Reports expect tremendous growth in the food testing market with improving consumer awareness and the introduction of rapid throughput technologies.
- Contaminant based segmentation: Threats from food borne illnesses are on a rise. But the consumer is becoming more aware of food safety matters. The key segment of the market will thus be the one working on biological hazards.
- Region based segmentation: The regions plagued by epidemics of food-borne diseases would be hot spots for the establishment of testing firms.
- Technology based segmentation: Microbiological tests usually take longer to give results since they are growth-dependant responses. Rapid tests based on molecular-biological principals will be encouraged in terms of technology.
- Application based segmentation: Red meat based products undergo the most crucial testing for authenticity. This segment is thus constantly advancing
However, the food safety testing market has a few stumbling blocks. Developing countries lack the kind of infrastructure that these systems require. These are often the same nations that require the testing. Standardization of the established systems for the multitude of food items produced is another challenge. Moreover, regulatory principles vary over time. Designing tests at pace with this development is difficult. Food safety testing thus lies at the dearth of flexible solutions.