The drive for nonmeat protein and comminuted products in the food industry has spurred surimi extraction processes world over, and most prominently in Japan. Surimi is one of the most popular muscle proteins worldwide made of fish proteins, and is typically considered as crude myofibrillar protein concentrate. The surimi market has been attracting consumers worldwide on the back of the popularity of processed meat, notably seafood analogs and kamaboko products. Key species used for preparing surimi are Pacific whiting, mackerel, Alaska pollock, threadfin bream, bigeye snapper, sardine, and croaker. When they are prepared from paddlefish meat can be used as a binding material in various other foods. The consumption of surimi has been gathering steam in the United States and Europe.
Typically, food companies in order to maintain the stability of gel, protease inhibitors are used in numerous surimi-based products. Restaurants are preferring surimi as a food ingredient in a range of seafood and meat products due to its superior gelling, fat-emulsifying, and water-binding properties. Some of the end users in the surimi market are residential and commercial consumer segments. Key B2C channels in the surimi market are modern trade, online retailers, and specialty stores.
The growing proclivity of nonmeat proteins through the incorporation of functional food ingredients is a key driver for opportunities in the surimi market. Surimi filling has allured consumers of seafood and meat products due to its low pricing and nutritional value. In cooked meat, food processing companies use surimi for enhancing tenderness, juiciness, and mouthfeel.
Advances in chemical processing methods and washing processes for protein recovery from underutilized fish species is a key trend bolstering the prospect of surimi market. Restaurants are beginning to see surimi as a potential alternative to meet the decline in lateral fish, thereby unburdening the fish industry. Rise in demand for comminuted meat products is also boosting the uptake of surimi. Advances in recombinant technology has been very significant for market players to prevent surimi gel weakening.
Several manufacturers are trying to innovate in comminuted meat products by improving the processing of surimi-based products. Worldwide, East Asia is home to most of the prominent players for the growth of the surimi market. In other regions, companies are scattered. Top players are expanding their supply and distribution channels are eyeing value-grab opportunities in North America. This has spurred Surimi seafood to make inroads.
However, surimi market has seen some snags due to health concerns of processed food. Nonetheless, the vastly expanding array of seafood and even more rapidly growing popularity of seafood are expected to drive the engine of growth in the surimi market.
Some of the prominent stakeholders in the surimi market are Ocean Food Company Ltd., Apitoon Group, Aquamar, and Viciunai Group.
Regionally, Japan has been by far the dominant surimi market. Japanese chefs have been projecting it as a remarkably cheaper seafood. The presence of land-based and sea-based surimi factories in Japan has helped augment the revenue potential of the Japan market. The U.S. has also been rising spiraling lucrative avenues for exporters in key markets. A part of the growth prospects is due to extensive research on muscle protein and comminuted products in the country.
The growing popularity of low-fat meat products among food service chains in North has been spurring steady revenue streams for suppliers of surimi-based functional food ingredients in the regional market. Focus on improving the texture of surimi-based products is a key characteristic of several of the emerging regional markets.
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