The global food safety testing market will reach over $14,000 million in revenue, at a growth rate of 7.2 percent annually, by 2018, according to a new report from the Dallas-based global market research company MarketsandMarkets. This compares with $9,262.3 million in 2012. North America has 40 percent of that market share, and will reach more than $4,000 million by 2018, the report predicted.
While he’s not sure about the specific numbers, David Acheson, MD, who heads the food safety consultancy at Leavitt Partners, says the percentage increase “seems about right.”
“It is hard to know if FSMA will drive up testing significantly,” he says, noting that much depends on what is in the final rule regarding finished product and environmental testing. But he predicts that the focus in the U.S. will increase on environmental testing more than on finished product testing.
“A key focus will be to continue to reduce the time to result with no loss of accuracy of the test,” he adds. “With that if the costs can be constrained I think we may see the market grow even more.” He projects continued global increase in the market, particularly in Asia.
Michael Doyle, PhD, regent professor of microbiology and director of the center for food safety at the University of Georgia, suggests that implementation of the preventive controls and food import rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act will drive considerably more microbial verification testing of raw materials, ingredients, and finished products.
“Pathogen testing will be an important part of this. Several leading food companies such as ConAgra and Nestlé are already conducting this type of verification testing,” Dr. Doyle says. “If FDA picks up the discontinued USDA MDP program for pathogen testing of produce, the produce industry will likely have to scale up its pathogen testing programs as well.”
The testing results of contaminated final food products have been most expensive in terms of recall & storage cost, so testing the food materials during each stage has become necessary for manufacturers, thereby driving the food safety testing market.