Silk is a fibrous protein obtained from insects belonging to the Lepidoptera order. Commonly used silks are derived from the domesticated silk worm (Bombyx mori) and spiders (Nephila clavipes and Araneus diadematus). Silk protein is produced within specialized glands of silk worms and spiders using biosynthesis. It is biosynthesized in epithelial cells and secreted into the lumen of these glands. Silk protein is stored in glands prior to being spun into silk fibers by the silk-producing animal. It is a colorless and odorless natural amino acid. Silk protein is primarily used in hair care, skin care, body care, and cosmetic products.
The global silk protein market is primarily driven by the increase in demand for silk protein in cosmetics & personal care, medical, and textile industries. Silk protein acts as natural skin & hair moisturizer, softener, and conditioner. It is known for enhancing hair softness and texture. Silk protein is extensively used in hair care (shampoo, conditioner, and styling) products. It is also utilized in professional hair cosmetics, as it assists in hair cuticle penetration of the lower amino acids and intensive regeneration of scalp. Increase in utilization rate of silk protein in hair care & cosmetics application is anticipated to drive the global silk protein market. Silk protein is consumable protein; it is used as a dietary supplement. Silk protein is also used in surgical sutures, bandages, and plasters owing to its high flexibility and high tensile strength. Rise in demand for silk protein in the medical industry is estimated to boost the global silk protein market.
Based on type, the global silk protein market can be segmented into sericin, fibroin, and others. The fibroin segment held key share of the global silk protein market in 2017. Fibroin is a fibrous protein present in crystalline and amorphous forms. Fibroin silk fibers are primarily employed in the textiles industry owing to their water absorbency, dying affinity, thermo-tolerance, luster, and insulation properties. Fibroin is also used as a raw material in the production of precious fabrics, parachutes, tire lining materials, artificial blood vessels, and surgical sutures. Sericin is referred to as silk glue that constitutes 25% to 30% of silk protein. It is widely used in hair conditioning agents and skin conditioning agents.
Based on end-use industry, the global silk protein market can be segregated into personal care & cosmetics, dietary supplements, textile, and medical. The personal care & cosmetics segment accounted for major share of the global silk protein market in 2017. The segment can be further sub-divided into skin care, hair care, and body care. Silk protein is widely used in several personal care and cosmetics products including moisturizing skin care creams, lotions and toners (face & body), facial moisturizers, aftershave creams, balms & lotions, sun care, deep conditioning/moisturizing treatments (skin & hair), body wash, bathing salt, nail care, mascara, lipsticks, color cosmetics, detergent cleansers, and fabric softeners. Silk protein exhibits moisture binding and moisture retention properties.
In terms of region, the global silk protein market can be split into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific held substantial share of the global silk protein market in 2017. Easy availability of raw materials at competitive prices is anticipated to boost the demand for silk protein in the region. China and India are leading producers and consumers of silk owing to the prospering textile and medical industries in these countries. Rapid industrialization in these developing economies in Asia Pacific is projected to propel the demand for silk protein in the near future. North America and Europe also constituted significant share of the global silk protein market in 2017, owing to the increase in demand for silk protein in the cosmetics & personal care industry in these regions.
Key players operating in the global silk protein market include AMSilk GmbH, Ashtae, Bolt Threads Inc., Bonsoul, Caribbean Natural Products Inc., E'TAE Natural Products, Huzhou Aotesi Biochemical Co., Ltd., Proteina, Protein Factory, SILKTECH, and Vaxess Technologies, Inc.
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